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Why Google's lost me - Hawk's Eyrie
It's all about releasing your inner sociopath
Why Google's lost me
Google was great in the beginning. I was an enthusiastic early adopter. But now, it's lost its way. "Do No Evil" became empty words a long time ago. While others might not consider privacy violations evil, I consider it an intrusion I won't tolerate.

Search Engine Watch does a great job of laying out how Google is, per the NSTIC, an OpenID 2.0, Level of Assurance 1 Identity Provider. Google no longer wants your information solely for marketing reasons. These days, they also want it so that they can continue to offer identify services to the Federal Government. Keeping information private makes it very difficult to verify you are whom they think you are.

Even if I wanted to use Google and not log into any services, how can I trust that they're not actually building up files on my habits? There is article, after article, after article detailing how Google deliberately circumvented privacy protections put in Safari. Frankly, I'm sure this isn't the only example of Google doing that. This just so happens to be the most recent time they were caught.

It's easy to say that if you don't like the new privacy policies, and how Google is combining your data, go elsewhere. Except, Google is no longer the scrappy underdog. Google is a major player in the game, and it's hard to avoid its long arms on the internet. Even if I never want to use Google, friends of mine use Gmail. All those emails that go back and forth contain data that will be collected both on them and me. While I've made the conscious choice to not be concerned about that data collection, it's still there - despite me never having agreed to any terms & conditions with Google.

Despite the fact that one might think I sound like I walk around with tinfoil on my head, I'm not the only one who's concerned about the data that's being collected, and how it could be used. And while there was a great suggestion on PC World to just lie to protect your privacy, that's exhausting. It takes more time for me to remember what lies I might have told than to split my information up between different services, and to make sure each service has as little detail about me as possible. Lying is hard. Keeping information to myself is easy.

I realize that because I've chosen not to join the party (i.e. G+), I've put myself at a disadvantage. Many of my friends have moved over there, and commentary on my & other's LJ/DW's have dwindled. Then again, the same thing happened when Facebook became popular, and I'm not there either. If I fall out of touch with my friends, well... I fall out of touch. While I acknowledge that there are people out there who don't value their privacy, I value mine. And I'm not willing to give it up quietly.

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This entry was originally posted at http://merhawk.dreamwidth.org/502943.html. Please comment there. If you don't have a DW account, you can use OpenID, or ask me for an invite code (if I know you/know of you). I might have extras.

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