re: Are we Developers helping Google to build an unstoppable monopoly? VIEW POST

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re: There are many alternatives, so you are free to move away from Google. Yes, we developers have that knowledge. But do you have the time to develop ...

You obviously value your convenience a lot, David. And that's fine with me. But understand that not all of us do. This whole debate comes down to privacy vs. convenience in the end. Some people pick privacy while others pick convenience. The problem is that with each passing day, we are losing that choice. And as devs, it is our responsibility to think long-term and really ponder whether the convenience really is worth this price.

Sure, most of it is free/super cheap right now. But it might not be 10 years down the line. And we might be powerless to challenge it at that point.

Yes, people love comfort. And Google provides that as you've so eloquently written. But we all could benefit from getting out of our comfort zones every once in a while. Saying "Google and Facebook own the world" is easy but ultimately unhelpful. I think we can do better than that. :)

I definitely value my convenience. I am a full time freelancer - working 8 hours a day + spending 1-2 hours on invoices/business/emails etc + spending a few hours developing my own products.

I don't have the time and money to invest in "wanna-be-like-Google services". Yes, Google might charge for their services later but 10 years is far away and A LOT will change by then.

Unfortunately, I can't live without money, I have to pay bills and I have to eat. If something is valuing your privacy then it costs money. Paying for each kind of service $10 or $20 every month quickly adds up. And I only talked about $10 when some service costs hundreds.

I understand the problem and I agree with you. But for example if I want to launch my own product then there are laws. Like you need to have a ToS, Privacy Policy, GDPR, Cookie policy and all the other crap. You need a business etc. In my country we pay thousands of dollars to get all this running.

We can definitely do better than that, I wish I had the time and money to do so.

No worries bro, We(Conscious Developers) will create some cheaper and transparent alternatives for you. Hold on 😊

A few things have been said that I feel the need to comment on

I definitely value my convenience

And if you were selling your own privacy, this would be a valid argument. But you're selling your website visitor's privacy instead, so this is not a choice you are allowed to make.
( Legally, you might not even be considered capable of making that decision for yourself. )

But for example if I want to launch my own product then there are laws.

Those laws are still valid if you use Google's services. Using third party software does not magically shift legal responsibility from you to that third party.
( Mostly, the laws also come down to "don't be a sneaky arsehole", which should be easy enough to comply with. )


So in short: yes, you are responsible, both morally and by law.

As a side-note: a lot of websites are currently not compliant with GDPR and other regulations, the hammer just has not come down on them yet.


We [..] will create some [..] alternatives for you

No we will not. The effort required to create some of these services (maps, serverless, advanced AI, ...) is monumental and not something that can be achieved by individuals or a p2p network.

You need larger structures to do these kind of things. Besides multinationals, governments or multi-government organizations (think CERN) fit this criteria. But many people feel uncomfortable with governments' technological projects.

Hey, I just wonder, what's the difference between 2008 and 2018. You say @Utkarsh Talwar, that in 10 years we won't have a choice. I'm a bit shocked, that we have the choice right now. Youtube was acquired by G in 2005. If they would spare a couple of dollars (109 $), they could gain much control even then. After 9 11 all of the privacy programs were shut off and I think for next 3 years, there was no change in the US law/programs.

My point is, what changed?

We have the tendency to decentralize our networks, but that won't solve the issue of the free services. We would still use Google maps etc.

The thing, what would change everything right now would be ... if G would turn evil. If they shifted from shady to evil. They won't do it. But that would change the state of minds of many people and the market would change. New services marketing themselves as privacy friendly (DuckDuckGo) will come up.

The point is, we act as the market. We demand, they supply. It's about people and what they want. So far everybody enjoys free services and if it increases the value of their life, not much can be done on the privacy part. sadly.

I'm honestly scared of the future.

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