Are privacy concerns about Google overblown?

by Bharat Suneja

Most folks view privacy differently, and have varying levels of concern (or the lack thereof) about it. Nevertheless, the growing footprint of Google services that we live with, including the pending acquisition of Double Click’s significant advertising network and Google’s new services like Street View, and the ongoing expansion of Google’s footprint to cover almost every aspect of our lives is certainly a cause for concern.

When Google initially came up with its concept of context-sensitive ads in a web-mail service (Gmail), many privacy concerns were raised. It hasn’t been very long since then, but in terms of expansion of the footprint of Google’s services in our lives, it seems like a really long time. Perhaps we’re looking at a different Google now!

I like and use many of Google’s services, but articles like “Is It OK that Google Owns Us?” by Lisa Vaas on provide some food for thought, and a need to pause and do a sanity check.

Yes, privacy issues are fodder for endless debates – stuff like “if I don’t have anything to hide, why should I care?” has endlessly been thrown around in such debates. However, the increasing signs of a big brother tracking our online activities and remembering it for what many folks think is an unreasonable amount of time, *along with identifiable personal information* should be a cause for concern.

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