Google gets creepy

  • 22 April 2015
  • NormanL
Google gets creepy

We've all read the stories about how governments intrude, snoop, spy and pry on private citizens (all in the name of keeping us safe). But governments aren't the only people out there gathering your information. One of the biggest, and most powerful, is google">Google. And contrary to its company motto of "Don't Be Evil," Google is definitely becoming creepy:

Between Google Search, Gmail, Maps, Android, YouTube, Glass, Now, books">Books, Wallet, Chromecast, Wear, Nest and its alliance with car companies, Google now knows more about you than you do. It knows what you want, where you are, whom you’re with, what you read, what you buy, even what pictures and videos you create and look at.

As Infoworld’s Robert X. Cringely so aptly put it, “Santa works for Google now.”

A key difference between Google and government is that Google cannot arrest you, seize your property or take away your freedom.  If people dislike Google or its products, they can take their business elsewhere. There's only one Uncle Sam. But that brings up another issue:

Last month the Wall Street Journal obtained a 160-page report from the [Federal Trade Commission's] bureau of competition that recommended the commission bring an antitrust suit against the search giant. It claimed Google’s actions have done and will continue to do “real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets.”

And yet, the agency’s commissioners ultimately decided against and closed the investigation. Why? Could it be that Google was the second-largest donor to President Obama’s reelection campaign or that the company’s executives spend so much time at the White House that the administration is thinking of redoing the Green Room in Google’s multicolor scheme?

Don’t be silly. There’s no cronyism in Washington.

We're not ready to throw Google to the wolves just yet. But we will be watching the company's budding relationship wth government very closely...and matching its actions against our copy of "The Law" to see if Google has crossed the line from innovator, to government parasite.