I recently read an article that asked the question: “Is Google gaining a monopoly on the world's information?”. I did not take me to long to conclude that “YES” they are!
As much as I love Google they are becoming very powerful very fast. When Google Buzz was released, that was probably one of the first Google apps I refused to use. When I tried it out (just by looking at other individual public updates using Google maps) I was BLOWN AWAY that I could see the exact address of someone tweeting (I mean "buzzing") in my neighborhood. I wondered if they realized I could not only see their picture but exact location. That's some scary stuff. What if you said "I hate bush" and your Nazi/KKK nearby neighbor decided to seek revenge. What if a child was buzzing to his other friends "I'm home alone, parents are gone, time to play COD MW2". Now the pedophile in your area sees this and his address and decides to go "play" with the child too. That was extremely disturbing. Add the fact that these options were AUTOMATICALLY enabled and it's clear that even Google is prone to making mistakes.
So what happens when a mistake releases all that information stored on Google servers about an individual? What happens when Google gets hacked? Notice I said “when” and not “if”. Google has already received publicity recently for being hacked by the Chinese. Have you Googled your name lately? You'd be surprised what you will find. I actually use an Internet alias online at all times just to prevent this sort of privacy invasion. When I Googled my name and found my home purchase, cost paid, exact address, law suits I've filed, posts made to forums, wedding registry complete with marriage date, I said it was time to make some changes.
With the amount of information Google has, they're becoming extremely dangerous. People keep saying "if you don't have anything to hide what's the big deal". Well I do have plenty to hide! God forbid my mistress find me and tell me those kids are in fact mine! Joking. But seriously, I don't need people to know what car I drive, drove, previous addresses, previous last name, etc.
Here's a great example. Ever since I could remember there was this guy in LOVE with my mother. He stalked her constantly. He wasn't dangerous, he was just crazy in love with my mom who was never interested in him. As years went on he always managed to find us. We would eventually get a card in the mail, flowers, etc. Regardless of where we lived. Just last year this guy friend requests me on Facebook! What the fuck? Take it one step further, I had my last name changed 4 years prior to him finding me on Facebook which is set to private, so how did he do it? I am positive Google had something to do with it.
I don’t think the average person realizes that Google isn’t just a search engine. They aren’t just a free email provider. They’re an advertising company who harvests personal information from Gmail, Google Voice, Picassa, Google Android handsets, and pretty much every service they provide you with for free. Information is great but there has to be concern for privacy when it comes to individuals. Google needs some regulation in their life.