Posted February 14, 2012 1:05 pm by with 2 comments

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I like Google. For the most part I tend to side with them on most issues like free market concerns and so on. I usually don’t have any issue with the privacy stuff either mainly because it’s my choice whether I want to be “tracked” by Google or not. As you may have noticed I said usually.

What made me think a bit more today was something that most would find completely innocuous which is an update to Google Maps that saves your directions. I read the post at the Google Lat Long blog and was intrigued, wondering how that might apply to me (since I am not much of a traveler the answer is ‘not so much’). After reading through the explanation of the new feature I came to this sentence

These past directions and places will only appear for signed-in users who enable Web History.

Then it dawned on me. Of course, I would have to be logged into something Google related in order to keep tabs on this kind of activity and make sure it is saved specifically to my account etc, etc. but it felt weird. it felt like I had been offered a carrot and I blindly followed the carrot to the point of realizing that Google is just looking to get more information on me so my online experience with Google can be more personalized via ads and other things.

Then something else dawned on me. I don’t want everything to be so freakin’ personalized. Every once in a while I would just like to be me, looking to find some information that might help me out and not have to be considering that every move I make now adds to some profile of who I am based solely on my online activities. Honestly, that’s about half of who I am at best. Google may think they have me pegged but they don’t at that’s what is so aggravating with all of this.

Hey Google. Give me some credit for having a life that DOES NOT exist in the online world and stop trying to “figure me out”. I’ll let you know what I want you to know and when. Wait, that’s a fantasy and not a reality because no one really has control of their online privacy and if the claim is made by the Google’s of the world that they do, it would be shown to be such a convoluted process to get that control that no one normal human being would be able to do it.

It’s frustrating and a mini-rant like this is probably useless other than to make me feel better for a minute or two. I’ll be quiet now.

  • Jennifer Sweeney

    Noooo. Don’t be quiet. You were onto something there –

    Realize that Google’s new Privacy Policy which permits it to give ALL your information from EVERY Google service (every search, every Gmail, etc.) to government and other types of requests.

    Now blend in our government, which increasingly curtails our privacy and probes into our lives and homes (even our bodies at airports), all in the name of “security.”

    Add 2+2 and what do you get?



    The other day, I signed the petition at…

    It’s only asking for something that any company with integrity would agree to…



    I’m sharing this because people are missing the fact that this privacy issue is the beginning of our erosion of rights.

    Google CAN be transparent about the risks and downfalls of their privacy policy, but they aren’t. That needs to change.

    Please read the petition and sign it. It explains it much better than I can.

    And tell others to do the same.

    Thank you.

  • I totally agree with this. I HATED when I saw I had to sign in to my Google Account just to save a simple location as favorite. I couldn’t even pin point it without it.

    What is this?

    Even at a much more shallow level than the right to privacy or the Big Brother scheme we are seeing all around the world in several ways (which, of course is worth to worry about) … I think Google has overseen that Google Maps will not be used ONLY IN THE U.S.A. Do they know the rest of the world may not be as well “covered” by a wireless or cellphone network as they are in the U.S.? Striking news, isn’t it? So, that means I usually have an intermitent connection. I am glad when I can display a location that I need to find, for example, with Apple Maps. The next second, I go into an “offline zone”. And yes, I am glad I could save that location I just found IN MY DEVICE. If I am denied to save it, because I do not have a connection at that very moment… then I’ll be screwed. Yes, it might sound ridiculous. But it happens. I happens in the biggest city in Mexico. I bet it will happen at many other places around the world.

    So… what was in their minds when they launched an App that relies in such an “ideal world of universal connectivity”??

    With that being said… I just have to use this space to express what bothers me more than anything from Google Maps. Why can’t I save places with any name I want. Do I have to “create a new map” from Google Maps in a web browser just to give a name to a location?? Am I doing things wrong?? Or is it true that you can only save addresses, but cannot name that bookmark or pinpoint as “Bob’s place”, “Nora’s work” or whatever name you want for it?? Please, enlight me.