Google’s outrage over the voyeuristic antics of that spooky and sinister US snooping agency the NSA is comical and shouldn’t be taken all that serious. Google after all has been snooping on those of us who use their search engine, Gmail and other products for a very, very longtime. Google has manipulated our online activities for its corporate financial gain and shared this without our knowledge, as well as collected data about where we go, who we write to, what we buy and what we view. More recently Google announced that it had the right to use any of our created or uploaded data through Google+ despite our protestations. Furthermore the Google Chrome interface has a unique identifier that reveals its user. In addition they openly say they are spying on us online and we still hit the “I agree” button. Here are some of the more openly transparent ways they tell us they are snooping”:
“When you use our services or view content provided by Google, we may automatically collect and store certain information in server logs. This may include:
Details of how you used our service, such as your search queries.
Telephony log information, such as your phone number, calling-party number, forwarding numbers, time and date of calls, duration of calls, SMS routing information and types of calls.
Internet protocol address.
Device event information, such as crashes, system activity, hardware settings, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and referral URL.
cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your Google Account”
We may use the name that you provide for your Google Profile across all of the services we offer that require a Google Account. In addition, we may replace past names associated with your Google Account, so that you are represented consistently across all our services. If other users already have your email or other information that identifies you, we may show them your publicly visible Google Profile information, such as your name and photo.
We may combine personal information from one service with information, including personal information, from other Google services – for example, to make it easier to share things with people you know. We will not combine DoubleClick cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent.
Google processes personal information on our servers in many countries around the world. We may process your personal information on a server located outside the country where you live”
It is indeed unfortunate that we all live in “The Kingdom of Glass, where nothing is private” (Nazarian, 2013) anymore, but we all seem to hit the “I agree” button and choose to live this way!
Nazarian, V. (2013). The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration .