sue watling

Google’s privacy laws affect all users of google accounts. It’s impossible not to be a user if you have an android phone or tablet or been invited to work collaboratively by a colleague via google docs. Inspite of recent media claims the new information sharing systems break European law on data protection,  Google has gone ahead with plans to target concentrated advertising based on individual interests and search history. No matter how small the garage or spare room you start out in, most people buy out to capitalism in the end and advertising is how Google makes money. From 1st March – – more than ever before – we’re all products to be bought and sold –with our worth based on information given away online. Random advertising is one thing but this is getting personal. We’re all now being followed with adverts for places we’ve been to online. As soon as we enter the google domain we are recognised – only of course it isn’’t us, – its our digital transactions the google sharing machine is interested in and how best it can persuade us to spend spend spend.

If you read the new privacy regulations  you’’ll have seen the rationale that google wants to understand what you’re searching for and get those results to you faster. Carry on aggregating information like this and google will know your visible life better than you know yourself. Once more there are echoes of Orwell’s insightful vision of the years beyond 1984 – where ‘thoughtcrime’ might be the only privacy we have left.

It’’s too late to turn back but why would you want to? Isn’’t Google actually making your life easier? Can you imagine no longer having instant information in seconds? No longer accessing the affordances of the Internet without leaving your home? Digital connections are addictive and, if digital footprints are the price we pay to google for enabling this, then I think I can accept that. Nothing has really changed. We were always tracked and recorded and it’’s naïve to think it is something new, it’’s just become more intense through increased linkups between programmes in the google family.

Information is power and it works both ways. Check out your relationship with google. Log into your google account and go to the latest information on data sharing, visit the dashboard to review the places where you and google have connections and check your default account settings; many of these can be turned off. If you really don’t want to stay with google there are still alternative ways to reconstruct your online life such as bing, mozilla, safari ect – if you can be bothered to start all over again.

Personally I accept I’’m tied into google. I like the convenience of my online life. Google and me? It’s a long term relationship and we’re in it for the duration.



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