Just a level-set about privacy

I ran across this thread on Reddit where the OP was excited about getting Google Fiber. In fact, there are thousands of replies from people that seem to share in the joy!

In case you are not aware, there is nothing for free, in a monetary system. If you are getting something for free, it’s because the other person is getting something of the same or greater value from you.

For example, have you read the terms of service for anything from Google? If you use GMail, they scan every word you send and receive, correlate that with your “user record”, all the in the name of giving you better advertisements. If you use Google Voice, they transcribe everything again, to give you a better search experience. It’s not just Google, it’s Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, etc – the idea is the same. You give them your personal information, in exchange for them giving you something for free.

In the case of Google Fiber, not only can it track you while you are logged into certain web apps with your Google account, the actual internet connection at your house – is associated with your Google account. That means, every byte of data that you send over the wire – Google will analyze, correlate and associate with your Google account… to give you a better user experience. How do you feel about that? Regardless of the browser you use, regardless of browser settings, this one company will analyze every single thing you do on the web. (start here, for the Google Fiber terms of service)

You might say: “hey, dum-dum, that’s what happens with my current ISP!”. Well, it could, but I don’t think it is. I don’t think there is an broadband provider that has the resources or business model to capture, never mind make sense of all of your internet traffic. Google on the other hand, is building this Google Fiber initiative SPECIFICALLY for this purpose!

I’m not saying any of this is bad, illegal, or even unethical. My point is just to make others aware of what is really going on. When you get a free service (gmail, hotmail, yahoo mail, facebook, twitter, photo hosting, etc, etc) – you are getting it free, because they are gathering something valuable from you. Just be aware!

Posted in Computers and Internet, Infrastructure, New Technology, Uncategorized

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