What a load of old sensationalist nonsense. I’m seriously starting to worry about Giz. If I want to search anonymously there is a thing called an anonymous tab. And I don’t log into my Google account outside work because why would I? – My phone is logged in.
That’s how the first commenter responded to this piece in Gizmodo accusing Google of being evil because it – wait for it – shares identity information between functions. That’s right, Gmail can now share information with Google search with Google + and on it goes.
This is supposed to be some attack on our privacy. Well there are very nasty things Google can do to harm my privacy. Those things would be telling other people things it knows about me that it could reasonably expect that I might not want them to tell them.
But it doesn’t do that. It is just using all the data it has to further improve improve the adds and other services it provides me. WTNTLAT? *
My point is, as I said here, privacy law, and privacy activism should be focused wherever practicable on stopping conduct that actually threatens privacy – ie where that information is provided to agents other than the one that has the information in the first place. It always pissses me off when I have to wait to be read some stupid thing which tells me my voice is going to be recorded “for quality purposes”. If it’s for training purposes they can protect my privacy by making sure the recordings don’t get leaked and by destroying them after the couple of weeks it was necessary to hold them to use them for the entirely benign purposes of quality control.
And remember, although Google is probably mostly thinking of optimising advertising here . . .
- making advertising relevant is a source of considerable value to the world and
- there are lots of other ways that the data might be able to be used to simply provide improved services to people – such as search, prompting connections with others, or with information of relevance to users, task management and all the other things that I can’t think of.
So broadly speaking, and with the caveat that I’ve not researched all this in great depth, I submit these views to you O Troppodores and Troppodillians.
* “Define: WTNTLAT” doesn’t generate any answers in Google, so we’re on the ground floor here Troppodores. This could be Troppo’s big break – our own little footnote in the English language, our own corner of the universe.