Killing Off the Octopus

It’s not as easy a task as “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (Disney version) made it seem.

Google, and its parent company, Alphabet, have their tentacles deep into just about every facet of online life. The former host company for this blog, Liberty’s Torch, was Blogger – a Google company.

When you sign up/into an online service with a Google identity – such as your GMail account – you will be tracked on any subsequent activity, whether you know it or not.

If you signed up with GMail, your Facebook account will be tracked.

The same with ANY service you sign up for, using that GMail account.

Now, since so many of us do that, what does this mean for your privacy?

You’re F****d.

It’s easy to do so. It simplifies the process. I’ve done so, in the past.

Full disclosure – my Facebook account is linked to Google. My phone will not work on most of my apps, if I limit Google’s privacy reach. That’s not uncommon. MOST of us find that smartphone use is just about impossible, without that access to my data.

But-but-but – didn’t Bill Gates LOSE that antitrust case, and have to break up that “evil empire” of Microsoft?

Technically, yes.

In reality, he just started buying companies that were “affiliated”, and would, by making the process easier, ENCOURAGE you to give up your privacy to them ALL. Some of the associated companies (Alphabet is the parent company):

  • Nest – that wants your smarthome under their control. The aim is to have ALL your devices – whether high-tech or low-tech, under their watching eye. Lights, plugs, TV, phone, locks on your home, thermostat, smoke alarm, security (cameras, motion sensors), wifi router – just a short list of those devices that have been Smart-enabled. Now, older appliances/devices may not be fully compliant. But, just like the newer TVs, within a very short time, ALL the new items you could purchase WILL be.
  • DoubleClick – the actual entity tracking your Web movements. The underlying machinery actually providing the ad targeting. So, when MS/Gates says “we don’t track you”, TECHNICALLY, he is correct. His subsidiary company does. That distancing allows him to testify that his hands are clean – but, those of his puppets are not.
  • Looker – allows those companies/NGOs using it to easily look at the analytics of their users. Makes it possible, with some moderate work, to handle the process in-house, rather than having to employ the tech specialists.
  • YouTube – and, we all know just how heavy-handed their control over use is. Not so much for porn/Leftist content, heavy for NLDs (Non-Leftist Dissidents). Without it, reach of videos is limited, at this time.
  • Waze – crowd-sources mobile traffic advisory and navigation. Has branched into selling ads that are targeted to those who are nearby/whose path will take them near.
  • FitBit – the wearable location tracker (I have worn one for years). They do work well to seamlessly track your steps. OTOH, they allow your position, and the positions of anyone else wearing them to be located with precision. Do I trust government not to use that data against me? Don’t be ridiculous! Of COURSE I don’t.

So, what about Google’s claim that they DON’T sell your data?

Well, like a lot of claims by companies that Gates controls, that’s depends on what your definition of “sell” is.

Google never says “I am going to take your data for ads/nefarious purposes”. They say, “I’m going to make your life easier”.

Which, to be fair, they do.

It’s just that the cost is high. And, the tentacles reaching into every facet of our lives are becoming more enmeshed.

Take e-records, the part of Obamacare that was so insisted on – it would be a major savings, they said. It would prevent patient medication errors, they said. It would reduce the amount of tests that were made.

And, to some extent, that is true.

But, the cost is huge. Your privacy is at risk. And, the data industry is notoriously vulnerable to hacking.

You can act to turn it all off. However, the cost is high. Those apps you’ve been using? Most of them simply will not work without the data sharing.

I know. I tried it. It was difficult to make use of my phone or tablet. Ironically, your desktop/laptop computer is less likely to need to engage in as much data sharing as your mobile device.

Don’t think it’s a problem for you? Here’s a link to instructions that help you find out what Google and Facebook knows about you.