I am a Gen-X person, which means I am part of the dying breed on this planet that still care about privacy. Google and Facebook specifically, are just creepy, to me. Many people (as it turns out), don’t get this, so let me write it down here:
Why Google and Facebook are creepy:
Google, like the nice man in window-less van offering you candy, is willing to give you what you want for FREE! In exchange, he just wants to watch you. Let me paint you a picture. Imagine you are totally “in-bed” with Google. You embrace everything they offer – what does that mean?
For Google Wallet, they have your name and address. For gmail, they have every word of every e-mail you’ve ever sent or received. For Google Voice, they record and transcribe everything you say, everything you text, and every voicemail you receive. For Google Search, they correlate everything you’ve ever searched for.
Now Google – sells this information to advertisers. They know everything you’ve e-mailed, everything you’ve searched for, every voicemail, and all of your personal details. This is a pretty complete picture of a person. This is a goldmine for advertisers. So Google is like a creepy peeping tom always watching, from outside of every window! If you have Android, and that uses your google account, arguably, they can correlate your mobile activity too. The only piece that Google is missing, is your intimate details. Right now, everyone only shares that with Facebook. It’s not “cool” (yet?) to use Google+.
So Facebook has all the juicy stuff. It has your political leanings, your pictures, your favorite movies and music – again, a goldmine of information. You can also get a FREE @facebook.com e-mail address too. This too, is so they can archive and correlate what you e-mail with what is in your profile. Facebook and Google both have the same creepy goal – and each has made great progress in some regards. If Facebook and Google ever merge, that is the final blow. Between the two, they have the most accurate portrait of you that is possible, so far, in the digital age.
Anyhow – generation-Y and younger people don’t seem to care about this, and younger generations will grow up not knowing anything different. In the same way that we grew up “always having to pay income tax” – that is how privacy will be for future generations, where they simply won’t have any, online. That’s really sad and unfortunate.
Here is an interesting perspective from a guy who worked at Google, and he talks about why he left:
How to Leave Facebook:
ANYhow, I did actually re-join Facebook for a short time at the end of this past year to share information about my move. For as much as it made me cringe, it was the best way to communicate information and pictures to a bunch of people.
Now that the move is over, I wanted to clean out my account and delete my account. As I learned from the past, there really is no such thing as deleting anything on Facebook. When you delete something, it just makes it no longer visible to you – but it’s still stored. But, to make myself feel better, I deleted everything I could. I noted that I could NOT delete messages by the way.
We all know that we can “deactivate” our Facebook accounts, but I did find how you can “mark your account for deletion”. I found this page useful:
So I really doubt that this “deletes” anything, but in case it does, it makes me feel a tiny bit better that I at least tried. The fact that I can’t truly delete anything on Facebook is already reason enough to not use it. What a repulsive business model they have, in my opinion, and I really don’t want to be a part of their information harvesting!