What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
“Don’t be evil” is the corporate motto of Google. While this company claims to not seek evil, I’m intrigued by the potential for evil that they have, given all the data they accumulate on our lives. If you choose to use Google’s products, let’s look at what they will know about you:
- If you use Gmail, they have all of your personal correspondence. They know what you think about, what you like, who you talk to, what other passwords you have (if you sign up for other sites that are stupid enough to email you your passwords in plain text), and a cornucopia of other items you choose to email about.
- If you use Google Talk, they know who your friends are, what you talk about, and how often you’re online chatting.
- If you use Froogle, they know what you shop for.
- If you use Google Checkout, they have your credit card information and purchase history.
- If you use their search engine, they know your search history, and what you’re looking for.
- If you use Google Desktop, they know what’s on your computer.
- If you upload videos to Google Video, they know what a weird you are for doing a numa numa dance impersonation.
- If you use Google Calendar, they know where you are and when, and what sort of activities you conduct on a daily basis.
There are other Google offerings that likewise collect data to send home to the mothership. While I’m not claiming that Google is ever going to use this enormous amount of data for evil-doing, I simply am astounded at how much they know about me.
Oh, and they’re already one step closer to world domination. Google (lowercase) has just become a verb. :-P