Is Giving Google All Your Data Worth The Convenience?

Andrew on February 10, 2019

[Mark Zuckerberg]: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard Zuck: Just ask. Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, ... [Read Full]
 

RE Google: I don't see the point in dropping it completely, but I do think that it should not be as big as it is, and that it could use more competition in certain fields.

As good as their services are, the alternatives are not necessarily worse, especially when they are paid services. And I think they are worth checking out.

I'd keep e-mail at my own domain, so I'm independent of the service. (You can do that with G-Mail too, I think, at least when you pay)

Giving them so much personal info may be fine today, while more or less sane, normal people are in control of it. This collected data won't disappear, though. You don't know which one of the data-points could identify you as "undesirable person" in 20 years. Which false-positive conclusions about you it may trigger at some point because of your location-data.

 

The only thing that will persuade you (and most people) is headlines, and bad ones. It’s just the culture right now to give away your privacy for convenience. It will take a new generation (cuz you know, what they grow up with is given and boring) or something really bad happening to change it. If it’s something heinous, the toss up is whether it will be corps or govt to cross the line first.

I’m there with you in some ways. I still use a few services because the convenience currently outweighs the risks (as I understand them). But I don’t like the situation and I’d love to see better alternatives that let me keep control of my own information. I’m keeping my eye on a few such as SOLID.

 

It's the same story for me and most of my family; they dropped Facebook because they figured it wasn't actually enhancing their lives very much. Awkward memes, guilt-tripping chain mail, and finding out that your aunt is kinda racist aren't a very good marketing pitch. Any concerns about privacy were a bonus, in as much as privacy and health are both tied to the user's control over their own experience.

This is a stark contrast to GMail and Maps, which are actually good.

As for what I recommend, if you do nothing else, install uBlock Origin. It will enhance your life as much as dropping Facebook did. That's my gateway drug for all other privacy-related activities. If that's not enough, switch off of GMail; it's the combination of adsense, analytics, and email that allows Google to figure out what's going on when you use services that they don't actually run. Those two (ublock origin and protonmail) are the biggest bang-for-your-buck privacy enhancers.

 

Thanks, Michael! On another recent post of mine...

...a few other people also suggested uBlock Origin and I just switched to it. Happy with it so far!

 

Ever since Google + made some very creepy connections for me (including trying to get me to connect with my grandpa who had died a few months before it launched), I decided Google had too much information about me and my family and decided to pull as much data as I could from their services.

For a while I ran my own CalDAV/CardDAV servers so that I could get cross-device calendar stuff, but that was a major pain in the butt. Eventually I found ownCloud which worked okay, but it kept on breaking every upgrade.

Finally I gave in and decided that iCloud was the least-evil of the cloud providers, and Apple's continued privacy commitments have made me feel like I made the right choice there.

Also, iCloud works just fine with anything that speaks CalDAV/CardDAV - including Android, if you install the appropriate connectors for it. So it's funny how the company that's seen as the most proprietary and based on vendor lock-in actually makes the best use of the most open protocols, and provides way better interop to their competitors than vice-versa.

 

I think soon, more and more people gonna stop using these big giants. Decentralization of these services will happen, the only thing is are we ready for this? We developers should totally promote this. I also started working on a small project regarding this named nomoogle, gonna complete it soon.

 
 

Personally, I deleted my Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, TripAdvisor and so on accounts for many reasons including privacy, toxicity, and because people on these websites are out of reality and many of them are crazy.
That's not Internet anymore.

 

All of the Google services you mentioned that are useful to you have equivalents made by other companies that work just as well without collecting lots of user data. There’s nothing to lose by not using Google services so might as well not.

 

For Search, Drive, Maps, and YouTube they're still the clear winners. For other things it's good practice anyway to not have a single point of failure. Including on your digital life.

 
sloth-mascot Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community View code of conduct

Unfollowed. I am not happy you give G the information about me, since G is plain fascist for the last ≈5 years.

I am fine with you being stupid enough to not understand all the circumstances of feeding regimes with a human-related data. But I honestly do not want to be in the list of Jews when G will come for us. You might not realize that, but you share not only your data, but all your connections data as well.

So, yeah, no connection with you is a matter of safety here.

 

Your reaction makes no sense to me. I'm still following you and there's nothing you can do to change that. We're "connected" in that way until one of us deletes our account (or until I decide to unfollow you).

How many followers do you have? A few hundred? I'd be willing to bet that at least 2/3 of them use some Google product on a daily basis. You're connected to all of them in the same way that you're connected to me.

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