How can I do without being spied on by Google at every damn turn? Let me COUNT the ways!!!!!
Really, the invasion of privacy that company inflicts should be prohibited by federal law. It should be effing ILLEGAL to track you around the Internet and track every one of your correspondents, too.
In fact, if Google were a government agency, it would have to get a subpoena to engage in the kind of spying into our personal lives that it does routinely. The reason it gets away with it? It’s a corporation. Because the Founding Fathers could no more have envisioned a world dictated by computer technology than they could have imagined taking a stroll on the moon, it never occurred to them to extend constitutional protections against overweening government to the real government that one day would evolve.
That would be the corporate shadow government, the one that dictates how we live, what we eat, where we work, how much we’re paid, whether we can borrow money and at what rate, whether we can insure ourselves against financial ruin in the event of accident, sickness, or natural disaster…actually, when you think about it, the one that dictates just about every aspect of our daily lives.
This morning I RSVP’ed to an upcoming meeting of a writer’s group I belong to. This group happens to have a Meetup.com site. And Meetup.com is synced with — who else? Google, of course. Within seconds after RSVPing that I would attend, in came an email informing me that Google has automatically installed a notice of the meeting in one of my several Google calendars (all of them, for all I know!) and that it will be sending me an email reminder. Lucky me! Here was a wonderful new G-service!
God damn it. Now I had to get into not one, not two, but three G-mail accounts and disable the damn calendars’ automatic notification. Yet another electronic time-suck. Really: do you need your time wasted that way? I sure don’t, and I’ll bet you don’t, either.
If I wanted Google Calendar to pester me with email reminders, I would proactively ask it to do so. The reason I don’t is that I tried Google Calendar and found it to be an endless hassle and annoyance. Annoyance annoyance ANNOYANCE! I do not WANT to be binged, pinged, and emailed for every deep breath I’m about to take. I don’t WANT Google to record every meeting I attend and every meeting I decline to attend.
So I quit using Google Calendar. I use iCal, which a) is resident on my machine and does not require me to go out on the Net to enter events, b) is easier to control, and c) can be persuaded not to make you crazy. I haven’t used Google Calendar in years.
Wouldn’t you think that would tell them something?
But ohhh no! Willy nilly, whether you love their tool or hate it, they’re going to push it in your face. That’s because they have THEIR corporate face pushed up your butt.
So why, you ask, do I use Gmail at all? No Gmail, no nuisance “calendar,” eh?
• I own a business and need a business address separate from my personal address.
• That business needs two “addresses,” one for the publishing enterprise and one for the editorial business.
• And I have a G-mail address that I use when forced to provide an email address to people I do not wish to share my address with, and to organizations that I believe are going to spam me.
• If you own a small business and can’t afford your own server and an in-house IT team to run it, you don’t have much choice but to use Google. It is, in effect, the only game in town, and because of that, it’s coercive.
One of the biggest mistakes this country has made in recent history was to defang the anti-trust laws. And Google is a prime example of the reason those laws are necessary and should never be watered down.
Consider the aspects of our lives this corporation has its fingers in:
Gmail owns my thermostat, which sends them data (presumably stored someplace) about the amount of electric power I use, the number of hours per day I use the power, and the time of day I use it. Harmless? Maybe. But that’s none of anybody’s business!
Gmail evidently owns Meetup.com, which it markets to just about every volunteer and social group in the country. Every time a group sends out an invite with an RSVP, Google collects data on the group and on every member in the group: who RSVPed and, by extension, who did not RSVP. What groups I belong to and which of their meetings I choose to attend are none of anybody’s business!
Google watches your Web searches, evidently recording those, too, since it never seems to forget what sites you’ve visited in the past. None of anybody’s business!
Google publishes pictures of your home on the Internet, complete with specifics about its location and clearly showing where the doors and windows are, simplifying burglars’ lives. With a vengeance, none of anybody’s business!
Google owns Motorola Mobility, which has to do with your Android phone. How much information that’s none of anybody’s business are they collecting from that?
Google owns YouTube (which, we might add, it has nicely broken). It knows what videos you watch and which you post to your websites. None of anybody’s business!
Come to think of it, Google knows all about what you write on your websites. Of course. What you choose to post to the Internet by default becomes everybody’s business. But that’s about it.
Google owns 180 companies, many of which have reason and capacity to collect and store data about you, your comings, and your goings. It may very well be the largest spy network on the planet.
Soon it will be producing electric cars, which will track and record all your movements about your city, town, and country. Those movements are already being tracked to a degree if you have a newer vehicle that’s “connected” to the Net. But when you’re driving a Google car, bank on it: every trip to the grocery store, every trip to your mother-in-law’s, every visit to your paramour or to the local whorehouse is going to be seen and recorded.
And why is this legal? Why has intrusion into our daily lives become so routine we sheeple hardly even notice it? Pretty obvious, isn’t it: the other 99% of us can’t afford to buy Congressmen and Senators, that’s why.
When corporate America can buy the government, folks, it is the government. If you’re not mad about that, you sure as hell should be!