You're not concerned, right? Is it time to get the tin-foil hat out?
First, let's see how Google interacts with us in our daily lives ...
- Google Analytics (website cookie-based tracking)
- Google AdWords (advertising)
- Google GMail (email)
- Google Voice (voicemail)
- Google Maps (local, national, global maps)
- Google Docs (documents stored in the "Google Cloud")
- ... and this list goes on, and on, and on, and on ...
What's stopping Google from launching the next great Google service - "Google Complete Profile" ... that's right Google can combine all the information it has on you from many, many disparate (and hopefully segregated) databases and offer anyone a complete profile on you -for a price.
Think I'm crazy? Google can index where you like to eat, what you search, what sites you visit, what you buy, where you go to, who calls you and what calls you make, what documents you write and what emails you get. Combining that into a complete personal profile is an absolutely terrifying idea.
Sure, it's no big deal that the largest data-mining organization on the planet has every piece of information about me that's crossed the Internet ... or is it?
Put the pieces together! Some of you get fired up about the government's Patriot Act and spying on US citizens ... but what about Google spying on YOU?! I'm not saying that I know of any specific projects within Google to conspire with, say, the US Government (or any other governments for that matter) but let's pretend we believe in conspiracy theories for a moment. Let's pretend that Google is feeding all the information that it has about all of the users it has through a monstrous analytics engine and then red-flagging suspicious activity which is then forwarded to the proper authorities.
Did you search for "pipe bomb", then map out a directions to the local Radio Shack or hardware store? Did someone send you an email with schematics and/or reference revolutionary ideals? Did you get a voicemail or place a call to someone that's already "on the list"? Was there an email thread or newsgroup you participate in that would red-flag you in conjunction with the other things already mentioned?
So, call me crazy, call me a conspiracy nut ... but I'm going to keep wearing my tin-foil hat and limit what information I give to Google voluntarily ... but I suspect that it will be a futile effort, given their depth of penetration into our daily lives.
What do you think?