I’m not even telling my friends everything!
This is yet another post related to the recent Nest acquisition by Google. I’m sorry. In my previous post I wrote about my fear of Google buying up companies that are providing useful products with practical purposes. Like the iHealth products I’m using to measure things about my health. Information I can choose to provide to my doctor, or keep to myself.
My previous post got linked on The Loop and Jim Dalrymple did put his finger on a sore spot; People, myself included, don’t seem to trust Google. And that’s bound to bite them in the ass.
Rene Ritchie wrote a great piece on the predatory nature of large companies (including Google) on iMore that I would recommend reading. Like Jim I agree with pretty much everything he says. Except this:
I value my privacy. I’m deeply concerned about who collects my data and how they use it. But I’m no more concerned about Google owning Nest than I am Nest existing in the first place. If I don’t want a data collector in my home, its not coming in regardless of who’s name is on the box. And if I do want one, I want the best one possible.
Too which Jim replied:
The problem that I have is that Nest sold a product—we bought that product, used it and we’re satisfied with that transaction. With Google, the transaction is Google mining my data looking for information so they can show me the best advertisement.
With Google, I am the product.
This is a valid concern that I share. But it’s not the whole reason I’m disagreeing with Rene Ritchie here. Like Rene, I’m deeply concerned about who collects my data and how it’s used. Unlike him I do buy data collectors based on the name on the box. The reason for me not wanting it to be Google is because of that they already know a metric crap-ton about me. Too a point where I’m fairly creeped out by it.
Even if I didn’t use Gmail, I send emails to people who do. Even if I didn’t use Google Analytics to track visits on my website, websites I visit do. Even if I refuse to put my phone number and address in my Google (Plus) profile, friends that have my number and address use Android. And so on. Combined with the stuff I actually do provide (sometimes unintentionally or by lack of a good alternative) myself it’s getting too much for me.
My friend who is an accountant knows a bit more about my financials than my friend who is a physician, but he knows a bit more about my health. My friends that are single know a bit more about how I handle myself in a pub and how I handle break ups. My married friends know I’m great with kids. My friends from college know some stuff I can’t even mention here (well I just don’t want too). I’m not intentionally keeping all this information about myself from them, it’s just the way things go. I would be creeped out if they all got together and compiled a big database of all the things they know about me. With Google I’m fearing just that, and because of their insane hunger for information and the financial power to buy up pretty much every single useful and helpful technology company I wrote that piece this weekend.
I don’t want any commercial entity to know everything about me. I would like to keep some data siloed. I’m not even telling my friends everything.