By Nick Bakewell, Contributing Writer
So now that Google’s policy of unifying their privacy…policies has taken effect, those of you who didn’t opt out are screwed! Google has all of your personal info and will probably be showing up at your house sometime in the next few days to kidnap you and sell you into slavery.
Of course, lest we forget, I bet most of you have Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, etc; many, many things that require you to provide all kinds of seemingly inconsequential personal data, which is available to anyone who cares enough to try and steal it. Same goes for that fireproof strongbox you have in your closet with all your tax info, pay stubs, passports, etc.
This isn’t even theft. You chose to give them this information and are now complaining about the fact that it’s all going to be put in one place? Try going into work tomorrow and filing a complaint with HR about everything in your personnel file being in the same folder, as opposed to scattered all over the building, and see how far that gets you.
I’m really curious – and this is a genuine question, readers, I want to know – what do people imagine Google is going to do with their information? Sell it? We’ve talked about this before!.They don’t need to; they have more money than humanly possible and can you imagine the backlash if they did?
While the core tenet of their manifesto “Don’t Be Evil” may not extend to some of their business practices, they’ve been as goody-two-shoes as any corporation their size can be. Apple, for instance, collects roughly the same amount and type of data from things like your iPhone or any Apple services you use, and they don’t even have the decency to tell you about it.
If what you’re worried about is that the government or some other regulatory body will drink from this new font of information in order to better prosecute you for this or that thing you searched for, well, the onus was on you to not to search for illegal things. The legislation regarding data collected from internet use is still so hazy anyway that the odds of you being pipped for looking up whatever it was you wanted to know are slim-to-nil.
They told you this was coming, a long time in advance, and you had plenty of time to make a reasoned decision about whether or not to opt out. But you’re using the services they provide to you, free of charge, which they are entirely within their rights to alter the terms of as they see fit. If you’re still taken by the notion that the internets are going to haxxor your civil rights and leave you in a hellish oubliette, then your options now are to immediately cease all use of things like your Gmail account, Youtube account, Google Docs, Google Maps, pretty much everything convenient about the internet, switch your browser to TOR, don a tinfoil hat, change your name to John or Sarah Connor and start making plans for the inevitable rise of SKYNET.
Nick Bakewell is a contributing writer for GenWhy Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.