Google’s Gathering Storm

Silver lining… thunderstorm… *zap*

Googlers everywhere were overjoyed with news of a Google WiFi offering. As you probably know, I’m increasingly sceptical of Google’s motives — throwing new things into the wild without much foresight. Today, I’m happy to say that I’m wrong about the lack of foresight. It is, in fact, much worse than that.

As part of using Google’s WiFi service, you also can download their VPN client — a secure connection between your computer and Google so that other people can’t see your traffic while you use your wireless connection. But PLEASE read Google’s privacy policy more carefully:

Google may log some information from your web page requests as may the websites that you visit. We do this to understand how Google Secure Access is being used and to improve our services (ed: note the words "our services" can refer to anything Google makes, not just Google Secure Access). Google Secure Access does not log cookies and strips potentially sensitive query data from the end of requests to help better protect your privacy.

Google also logs a small set of non-personally identifiable information — such as routing information, session durations and operating system and Google Secure Access client version numbers — in order to create your Google Secure Access connection, understand how people are using Google Secure Access and help us maintain the Google Secure Access client.

I was thinking about Google’s plans in relation to their web accelerator product before their Wifi plans were announced. The Wifi announcement is what solidified their plans for me. In all honesty, I thought Google was going to push their search engine and web acceleration to WiFi access points, making for the fastest damn Internet you’ve ever experienced. In return, they would then record all your traffic and do something with it that I’ll talk about in a moment. Instead, Google will encourage you to use their VPN software (or web acceleration software, or whatever their next invention is), but still not tell you up front that they’re recording you’re usage.

But about my lack of foresight… Google has a plan, same one they’ve always had: to be the source of all information everywhere, especially the Internet. Their new means to accomplish this is to capture your Internet traffic and analyze the hell out of it. They’ll use that data to keep track of how people use the services of their competition and generate new services based on emerging ‘net uses — all that and they won’t even have to leave their cushy offices in Mountain View to do it. They already track how you use their search results without your permission, have access to your emails and email use habits, social networking, and instant messaging too. Why not take the next step and record everything you do on the net?

Fuck Google.

I take that back. Fuck all those search engines because they’re all probably doing the same thing. Isn’t there an open source, fully anonymized search engine yet? Now is the ideal time for that and other marketing-free or blatant-marketing-disclosure services to emerge…

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