autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

How far you have fallen, Google…

… and how high you think you have risen. (sigh)

The following is written hard on the heels of watching today’s anti-trust hearings and really having it hammered home in the words of Schmidt and Creighton just how utterly stupid I was to believe or trust in the company called Google. The article that engendered the comment copied below is “Google Plus & The Data Scientist Who’s Navigating It To Hell” (and the comment is there until/unless flagged out of existence). My point in commenting was to essentially respond to say, “Thanks, but no thanks” and proceeded as follows:

Let’s just say that if I wanted someone to log, analyze, and essentially stalk me for purposes of advertising revenue generation, narrowing my universe of content access based on what THEY think I want to see (or not see), and pretty much be “all up in my business” as if it should be their business (oh, irony!), I’d still be a Google customer.

As it stands, what Google is doing under cover of “convenience” is the worst kind of duplicitous and invasive violation of trust imaginable; all of which is occurring with candy-coated marketing that keeps the user as ignorant and in the dark as possible.

Once upon a time Google was a company I was proud to tell my friends and family would NEVER abuse privacy or use it to invasive ends. I was proud to point to “Don’t be evil” and their 2009 statements about total commitment to “being who you want to be”. I was so very proud to associate myself with and bear Google’s name, tag, and image as something I truly felt beneficial and important and special.

Oh, I was their biggest fan for years (early adopter, brought SO many of my friends and family to them), and they used people like me to learn how to more and more directly prey upon social activity and privacy in the name of lining their pockets. It wasn’t enough to have my support, it wasn’t enough to have my trust… they wanted to own my very identity and through it, my entire online presence.

Now, after months of watching them betray my trust, mandate who I choose to be, abuse their access to my email, my documents, my calendar, and my activity all to put advertisers on my trail (and money in their pocket), watching them stand in front of cameras and arrogantly say things like, “Don’t like it, don’t use it” and “We have to be able to rate you” and so many other iterations of authoritarian and totalitarian smarm, watching as they dismissed and derided my friends and family as well as me, utterly betraying my trust, I realize the simple, salient facts:

– Google never cared about my interests, only about how to use them to realize their own.
– Google never considered me important, only expedient to their ends.
– Google never thought of me as a customer, only as a product for those they do – advertisers.

Fool me once, shame on you… fool me twice, shame on me… no, Google, I don’t think I will step up for another round of your special brand of predation masquerading as “convenience”; maybe there are those who are willing to sell their privacy to have your “free” things, but I see now just how much they cost, exactly what you ask, and, frankly, you have abused my devotion and trust far too heavily to ever gain a second chance at doing it.