No offense but...

By 10:28 AM , ,

I love Google. I really do. I believe Google even owns Blogger right now... and if they didn't, then I wouldn't have been one of the first to get exclusive access to Gmail when it was first launched... Since then Google bought Youtube and formed numerous partnerships... launched an awesome browser (Chrome) and so forth.

However, in the back of my mind I've always wondered, am I the only that sees a problem with all that power? I remember back when I discovered that Google tracks your searches, the sites you frequent. There's supposed to be a feature somewhere, not that I remember how to get back to it, that shows you the history of your browsing by day, week, month, year. Sure, cool? I say creepy. But that was years ago... This article here discusses the privacy issues from then and this one as of current.

I mean... don't you think it's weird that one company should have so much information about you? Your emails, your browsing, your chat conversations, phone conversations, etc?

No one man should have all that power...♫  The clock is ticking I just count the hours...

I've always asked, so what if one day Google should become interested in me then? Some grand scale lawsuit comes up that requires to pull information about my online habits? I mean the chances are slim, but it's not a complete impossibility now is it? Stranger things have happened, even if such a case hasn't happened yet, it simply means there's potential for anyone's goose to be plucked, stuffed and cooked with the ease of a few clicks. ...

If search history, e-mail and registration information were combined, a company could see intimate details about a person's health, sex life, religion, financial status and buying preferences.
It's "data that's practically a printout of what's going on in your brain: What you are thinking of buying, who you talk to, what you talk about," Bankston said. "It is an unprecedented amount of personal information, and these third parties (such as Google) have carte blanche control over that information."

Sure, they won't reveal your information to 3rd parties. *Shrug* That's what they all say... I'm just saying it's not impossible for some shade of gray area to pop up requiring the information being released. And then what?

So what inspired this? Msn's article today about invasion of privacy by a Google employee.

Creepy Google stalker proves your privacy is an illusion
-Helen A.S. Popin
David Barksdale lost his job at Google after parents complained that the 27-year-old Site Reliability Engineer violated the online privacy of at least four minors, reports Gawker. According to the story, Barksdale used his elite position to tap into Google voice phone logs, accessed Google contact lists and chat transcripts, and in at least one incident, unblocked himself from a Google Talk buddy list after the teen account owner blocked him.

...As Ryan Single recently wrote on Wired's Epicenter blog (in a post delineating Google's better practices), "They hold onto search and other profile data for too long, and their'anonymization' of the data after 18 months could be easily reversed. They still turn on thecreepy 'Web History' by default for all account holders, which is an egregious privacy choice (however, this 'feature' only records your searches and the places you visit from a search result page, unless you use the Google Toolbar in your browser, which records everything when ‘Web History’ is enabled)."

...The problem is with people, and until Skynet, there's no getting past that reality. Speaking of egregious pop culture references, who here hasn't played "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," embracing that tingly feeling of power you get when your search engine superpowers to uncover even the most benign intimacies belonging to people you know in real life?

...With elite access comes great responsibility, sometimes too tempting to resist. That creepy Google engineer stalker guy isn't so much an anomaly as he is evidence that your online privacy is gone gone gone, and it ain't never coming back.

So now we don't even have to wait for 3rd party prompting. We could just wait on some employee on the inside to abuse the information access. 

What do you think?

Shelli out.

You Might Also Like


  1. Huron9:42 AM

    Wow impressed. Great Post :)