Aug 3, 2009

I can't quit you, Google

I'm in a weird love/hate (stronger on the love side) relationship with Google right now. I have been thinking alot about how far we are progressing with computers and technology and how close we are to a Terminator like scenario where technology actually can outwit us -- I believe the NYT wrote an article about this just recently but I haven't been able to find it. With everything that Google knows about me right now, it has got me thinking 'what if Google wants to control the world' and what if their plan turned evil. With all the information I've provided to them about myself, they very likely know everything there is to know about me digitally. My social, my credit cards and bank statements, my employers past and present, my upbringing, what I'm interested in, where I shop, who I'm friends with, what my schedule tends to look like, etc. At this point, I've given Google all this information through a variety of forms - iGoogle, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Analytics, Google Maps, as well as Google Checkout. And lets not forget Google Wave and Google Voice, both of which are just rolling out but show alot of traction and promise.

I love how easy Google and all of it's products is to use. And I haven't stopped using Google as a result of my fear. I keep telling myself they'd never use my information against me - that's ridiculous. I'm no conspiracy theorist. On the flip side, if they're not going to use my information against me, what's the harm in giving them all this information if they can help me organize and manage my world? With all this information and knowledge at my finger tips, I still haven't found a way to aggregate, organize and manage all my info in a way that really makes sense and makes it easy for me to find what I'm looking for -- if I give Google all my information, they seem the most likely to help organize it in a way that will work for me.

Yet I can't help but wonder why they keep creating all these great applications and then giving them away to consumers? Is it just to hook us so we turn to them for all our application needs or is it something more sinister? As I said, I'm still using Google -- this hasn't scared me away completely, but once they have my information it will be very difficult for me to get it back from them so the longer I use them the more embedded we are together.