Google – you are teaching people bad habits

Google, my dear, you know I love you. I have been pimping out your tools since I first stumbled upon your Stanford page in 97 when I was doing SEO for a living. I even told my mom about you before you were on…

And I do know your motto of “don’t be evil” but do you realize you are teaching people bad habits in regards to giving away data ownership?

See I know that you expire data, and do much to anonymize data, and try to protect privacy of the individual. But I only know this because I personally know many google employees.  Those dear souls comfort my worried paranoid brain by explaining some internal processes to me.

But see I worry about the “thought crime” becoming a reality from the huge amounts of social behavior collected.

Though I do things like use google latitude. How do I justify such things?

Because you let me control it. I decide who sees it. I can set it to a location (lying maybe but eh…) While I don’t know what ATT does with this data ( I mean for all I know they are still handing it over to GW even though he isn’t president anymore.)  This tool could be used as an amazing lesson to people (look at the data Sandy Pentland at MIT media lab is gathering!)

My request is this… could you make people more aware of their data ownership? Could you make them aware that even though you guys aren’t Evil… that other sites out there collecting information MIGHT be?

please be a bit more public about your policies

ask others to also be more aware

teach people to fish – rather than giving them a fish?

we need things to illustrate transparent equitable standards for open data… can I help?  I won’t charge too much :-)


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