Yep. The Internet behemoth is keeping track of little old me. Not too shabby. You'd think I'd be happy to be chosen for such an honour.
But the thing is, I haven't been plucked from the crowd, it's more a case of not being able to opt out.
Like many of us, I'm a big Google user. I enjoy their products, how well they work and how integrated they are. Because of the company, I learned how to spell and almost understand algorithm. I'm also a fan of their minimalist design aesthetic.
I like that in theory.
What I'm not crazy about are the automatic linkages that happen when I'm signed in and all my accounts are effortlessly sharing data.
Say I'm going to be late for an appointment and Google knows because it's in my calendar and they're aware of the time, my location, the distance to my meeting and…well, my habits. I don't like the idea of a digital tap on the shoulder with the offer to write and send a note explaining my tardiness.
On the other hand, there will be cases when I want that – say I'm in a new place and not sure of how long it will take to reach my destination on time.
The point is, I should have the option to turn parts of the service on or off depending on my needs (i.e. I'm the customer) without having to fully sign out. (I guess it's their idea of a binary solution.)
I choose to live a portion of my life in public by being active in social media. I understand the benefits and risks and make decisions based on what's important to me as an individual and as a member of my family. Ultimately it should be up to me to draw the line. And that's something Google's taking away.
Their intense-customization will also remove some of the Internet's quirky serendipity and I don't like that either, but that's a subject for another post.
I hope a public outcry will cause Google to modify its policy and give us back the freedom of choice, with the simple language intact, please. If not, will I boycott the service? I don't think so. But I will use it less (Bing anyone?) and will be more mindful of which parts of my social graph I share with it.
Do you feel the changes are a breach of your privacy? Will you do anything about it or just go with the flow? I'm very interested to hear your take on this.