Just wanted to share a pretty interesting newscast about Google and their recent incident with the FTC. The convo also goes into the topic of Google +.
The Report: Tech News and Geek Culture, EP 006 – Google by KoPoint
So after listening to the newscast, I had to formulate my own opinion:
First, I love Google Maps and their street views. After shopping for properties online, the street views helped out so much. The first time I ever saw this cool application, I was amazed and slightly concerned. It captures everything going on as the google car passes by, and no one is even aware they might be caught on camera for all the Internet to see. The whole concept of privacy is thrown out the window. Yes, it’s out in the public but shouldn’t you be aware you are being caught on camera? Shouldn’t you be warned whatever you put online is public no matter what settings you use, what firewall you are using etc.
Everything you do, browsing, downloading, sending emails can be traced. Even the pictures you post online from your phone has encrypted data to locate where you took that picture from. Your phone GPS is probably on right now. Security cameras, wifi zones, cellphones, GPS units are great technologies. But really, there is no such thing as privacy anymore. Employers can now look your social networks up and learn more about you from that than your application or interview. I just think data mining is way to excessive now a days.
The other topic that the newscast discussed was Google +. I do like a few features on Google + as opposed to other social networks. The Google Hangouts are unique and fun. Basically, it’s webcaming with several people at the same time. The other thing I like about Google + is the fact that the subjects discussed or posted by people are much more interesting on Google than Facebook or Twitter. My hypothesis on this is the people. I have about 200 people I follow on Google and they are strangers. I believe people are more guarded on FB or Twitter. News, articles, science and politics seem more prevalent on Google +. That is just my observation. Other people have created an account, and never post, or have already deactivated the account.
The one feature I don’t like much is that everything is merged on Google. I actually like things being separate. This kinda goes back to my feelings about privacy being gone. When I log into my GMail, I’m automatically in Google +, my passwords are all interlinked. This worries me from a security aspect. The final thing that is cool and worrisome at the same time is the amount of foreign people that have me in their circle. About 2000 unsolicited people who have added me to their circles. I don’t know them. Some of them don’t even post things in English. How safe is that? Why are they following me? No one ever introduces themselves online either. I just can’t tell if they are nice people who just want to follow anyone, or their robots spamming, or data mining.
Anyways, I hope this is interesting for techies and not so techie people out there. I would like to know your opinion as well. Do you like Google/Google +? Do you feel the Internet has thrown out your privacy? Or do you not care either way?