There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch: Google Edition
When it comes to slurping up personal info, not being up-front about it, and making users do the work to opt-out (assuming that option is even available), Google is only a few steps behind Facebook.
But as Google increases the number of privacy features—part of an attempt to scrub its reputation clean of data-tracking dirt—the setup of the settings, toggles, and dashboards within its apps seems to put more responsibility on the individual user rather than the platform. As Pichai himself said, Google aims to give people “choices.” So it’s your choice if you want to take the time to adjust, monitor, take out, or toggle something off. Just like it’s Google’s choice to not change its fundamental approach to gathering data to help better target advertising and thus make heaps of money.
I think we need a new term for this sort of thing: ‘privacy theatre’. Much like ‘security theatre’, it has very little, if anything, to do with what it’s pretending to do. Not a new thing, either. And of course, applicable to Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, the telcos and cable companies, and all the other data-scoopers out there.
A glimpse into the culture of the original YouTube, and a reminder of just how bad Internet Explorer 6 was.
I opted to move to Fastmail back in 2013, at least they give a damn about their service. Google? Not so much.
The little secret behind all of this that very few people want to admit is that, in most cases super-targeted ads are crap. They don’t perform well. That’s because even if you’re putting the ad in front of the right demographic, most of the time they don’t care or don’t want to see whatever it is that you’re pushing. Or, it shows an ad for something you already have (or the ever popular laugher: something you just bought and don’t need to buy again).
AMP is a solution in search of a problem to solve. We have the means to make web pages faster and less bloated, just the will is lacking. And email needs less tracking, not more.
Jason Scott from the Internet Archive, who knows a thing or two about preserving digital content, on the challenge of preserving the social and cultural content held by the social networks.
The Google Graveyard is looking busy this year.
Maybe this is why Google has a corporate mission of making the world’s information accessible? They’re the primary force now in making information inaccessible?