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Google: When Something on the Internet is Free - You’re the Product
I Don't, Actually
Google offers you a wide array of free products - the better to collect your data with, my Dear. The Big Bad Wolf then sells it all to the highest bidders.
So infamous is Google’s Internet search engine - it has achieved Kleenex-esque near-name-ubiquity. To look for something on the Web - is to “Google” it. Google receives three billion search queries - a day. In January 2016, Google represented 63.8% of the U.S. core search market. Microsoft and Yahoo! tied for a distant second - at 12.4%. If you looked for something online - chances are, Google knows about it.
That’s just basic search. The list of free Google products is nigh endless. To name but a few more: Google Books (where you can search about three million books - many of them for which Google never paid anyone), Google Alerts, Google Finance, Google Groups, Google Hotel Finder, Google Flight Search, Google Image Search, Google Language Tools, Google News, Google Calendar, Google Patent Search, Google Recipe View, Google Scholar, Google Shopping and Google Video (oh - and Google owns monster YouTube).
There are Google Apps - including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Contacts, Google Video, Google Groups, Google Plus, G Talk, Google Maps, Google Mars, Google Moon, and Google Earth.
Google offers a wide array of additional search, communication and publishing, advertising, Web development, Web statistical and desktop application freebies.
Google didn’t miss going mobile. Many of their stationary products are available on-the-go. They created their own Android cellphone operating system (OS).
And on, and on, and…. You by now no doubt get the point. ALL of these products - allow Google to collect information about you. Which Google then puts on the auction block.
I have zero problem with any of this. People voluntarily choose to use Google stuff - and that is the price they pay. (I go out of my way to avoid using anything Google - again, my choice.)
I do, however, have a HUGE problem with the HUGE favors the federal government is doing for Google’s data-mining operation.
FCC Official Hints at What Broadband Privacy Rules Will Cover: “The head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s Wireline Competition Bureau offered a long-awaited peek this week inside the thinking behind the agency’s forthcoming privacy rules for broadband….The bureau chief repeated the rules will only apply to (Internet Service Provider) ISPs - edge providers like Google, Amazon, and Facebook will stay within the realm of the (Federal Trade Commission) FTC.”
Get that? The FCC is about to drop the hammer on ISPs - severely proscribing what they can do with the data they collect. While leaving completely alone Google - to continue their HUGE data-selling business-as-usual.
Which in fact makes Google’s data-selling business-as-usual - even more astronomically profitable than ever before. Because the government is about to outlaw other companies from competing with what Google does. Government-reduced competition - means Google can charge even more for what they do.
That’s not a government thumb on the scale - that’s the entire Leviathan plopping itself down on Google’s side.
This first appeared in Red State.