Google’s New Privacy Googly

Yesterday saw the start of the new Google privacy policy much talked about on/in the news, Twittersphere etc. And now here of course.

Dollars in the big brother eye

Should we be at all concerned that our personal privacy is once again being chipped (hacked) away at? Well probably yes, but for this writer the big surprise is the surprise everyone seems to have that Google are doing this.

From my standpoint I have to say that no matter what the privacy policy says I just assume that evil will be done no matter what the company’s mission statement says, and act accordingly. I am not just talking about Google here, this issue is endemic throughout the internet: your privacy starts to be compromised just as soon as you switch on the device you are using to access it.

If you are on a desktop at home, or at work your identity is easily trackable down to the machine address of your network card (wired or wireless) and your ISP/Wide Area IP address will identify your town location at least.

Access the internet on a hand-held and your exact location to within a few metres will be known and all those really useful free apps you have are just leaking all kinds of really useful stuff about you; like your movements, your calls, your contacts, your messages, etc. Facebook admitted recently that they were recording SMS messages sent on phones using their app as part of their ‘research’ to establish a new messaging service.

In general the public’s attitude towards its own personal privacy has become more and more careless and social networking especially both encourages this attitude and takes advantage of it.

The bottom line is that on the internet eyeballs means money and where you know a great deal about the eyeballs in question then the money potential is so much greater.

Google has done everyone a favour this week, it is a ‘big heads’ up moment for everyone who uses the internet. Irrespective of whether Google uses the information it has on you for good or evil, at least this issue is now in the general public domain. It is now being discussed and awareness is being raised so that the public can take notice, take action and start to say ‘no’ much more often when presented with unreasonable terms and conditions.

Remember you are being tracked: if the drop-off point is the terms and conditions acceptance question, then that sends a very immediate and clear message to the company in question that their behaviour is unacceptable. It is your choice.


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