I am not going to write about Facebook, even though the title starts with “Facebook goes public”. Sure it was such a great news, great financial turmoils, many discussions on internet, over-priced, bubble-boom etc. I am no longer scared of Facebook privacy either. By the end of the day, it is just one more website and I don’t care if it sells my data anymore. I already lost the control over my data in the web at the moment I first opened my first website, or my first email. It is all there, forever.
Facebook goes IPO and I receive an email from Google! It is changing its policies. All of them! One policy to rule them all they inform. It is more practical, and easier for you – I read in the email notification.
I don’t care at first; but then it reminds me of something!!!
We have two computers at home. 2 notebooks who are of course connected through the same wireless. Mine, which is also used as a toy for my little daughter, and my wife’s. My wife is also a very active internet user since she is also in the IT field and basically works non stop.
A few months ago, just close to my birthday I saw some ads of Wallets popping out on most of the sites I visited. I used to have a tiny wallet, which was no longer practical and complainted about it most of the time. The moment I saw so many Wallet ads, I realized my wife has been watching for a good leather wallet and “Google-Ads” was doing its job advertising as much as it could to the same IP!? I would say IP, but we are clients of a large provider in a large country, so my IP is changed at least 2-3 times during the day. I kept watching those ads for weeks. My wife confirmed that she has been looking for a wallet gift, but she assured me that it was only from her computer. (and that moment her surprize gift idea was ruinned and I did not get a wallet thx! to google-ads).
Just a few days ago we had a similar episode. A small diamant has slipped from my wife’s ring and got lost. Promised her we would fix it next time we have a chance to travel to the city we bought it, I almost forgot about the episode until…. Diamonds and rings started popping up again in pages I was visiting! On my computer! Different mac-address, probably a different IP. (I guess I should let my neighbor use my wireless so I know what he is up, … too just out of curiosity).
So, I am being tracked! We are visiting a page, and our interests are being harvested and haunted at the same time. Now I see one policy for a Google with 60 services or more and I start thinking! I did not open at first an account at Google, but I was forced to from Analytics! So I opened an email account. Sometimes later, for some reason I wanted to try iGoogle and registered for that service. Not sure how I ended up having a trackable history on Google which astonished me when I saw what I searched for 2 years ago. And then it kept growing and growing. Today I searched myself on Google and I found a picture uploaded from my android mobile which I did not even remember uploading …
So I am summarizing what Google knows about me.
I am using Google DNS Service (because my ISP provider forwards me to dummy full of commercial websites whenever DNS is not found for some domain. Using Google NS is cool, but it also means that Google knows every domain I opened actively or pasively! Not a problem, nothing to hide, I am anonymous I would say. But Google also knows my profile from the dummy Google+ service. It knows some of my correspondence from Google Mail, it attempts to know more about my business or activity through Google Docs and … it knows who I search for, whose quotes inspire me, what programming language I search the most, where I work, what I dress (probably has a wrong information on the wallet I bought in a real shop), who’se friends I chat to, who’s people I am am professionally oriented through gocs and … now it is Unifying all these services until one Privacy rule.
I had enough so now I virtually am running away! You should probably do the same. There is a little new search engine called Duck Duck Go. I am gonna search my self and other stupid stuff there from now on. My email is quite Ok at my own server (or I still love yahoo for that matter)… Slowly I will migrate everything from Google. It is not that I am paranoid, but this is not the Google I loved. This is a google that is intimidating my presence online. It is damaging the concept of a free internet and introducing those concepts of “Corporations Know All”. Microsoft is not that evil after all. They just wanted to sell me desktop application, and not sell me digitally everyday.