Google knows you best (OPINION)

Kate Dalley is a business woman and cohost of the Perspectives with Bryan and Kate on Fox News 1450 AM. The opinions stated in this article are solely her and not those of St. George News.

OPINION – Your relationship with your computer just got a lot more personal.

I received an email yesterday about Google’s new privacy policy.  The problem I had with it, though, was the fact that I wasn’t just being “informed”- I felt like I was being “sold” on it. That made me very, very nervous.

Google’s spin went a little like this, “Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.”  I don’t know about you, but I would rather have a cheesy used car salesman try and sell me on the spaciousness and comfort of a Yugo than watch Google sell me an online “intuitive experience.” Good Grief!

As of March 1, Google will be consolidating their 70 plus different privacy policies into just one privacy policy. Clear, easy to understand and a whole lot easier for us, right? Well, maybe not.

If you have an account with Google, such as gmail for email,  everything you do online with eBay, YouTube, or dozens of different websites, will now share all of your private information. Now, when you Google, the search bar will “intuitively” know what you like to specifically shop for, view or even read and tell YOU what your next search will be.

Do you like Star Wars or romantic comedies? Google will know about it and even suggest where to shop.  Are you single or love to read articles about classic cars?  Google will now suggest where you can meet your special someone this weekend, or show you how to restore your ’68 corvette. It will be able to do all of this even before you even finish typing your search. All of your advertisements will now be catered just to you. Facebook already does this to a certain extent, but I don’t think I am ready to trade total loss of privacy for ease.

I don’t know if I’m ready for an intimate relationship with my computer.

What really started to make me nervous was when I logged into and realized how much information the nice folks at Google were already storing about me.  Google told me how many text messages I sent and described my phone in detail, calendar events, websites I visit the most, how many emails I had only drafted but not sent, my zip code, my age, the most recent articles I’ve read and even my nickname- just to name a few.  When it got to the section about documents I had written lately, Google stated “nothing interesting here.”  Gee, thanks Google.  Even my computer thinks I am boring.

The good news, or so Google tells me: One simple login and all of the places I will go online will not only be catered to me, my likes and dislikes, but I won’t have to deal with that pesky, cumbersome task of logging in daily to all of my different accounts online.  I am so glad to see how many seconds I will save by not having to log in. I was really worried about that.

The bad: All of my different personas on line such as work emails, likes and dislikes, and my personal accounts and information- will all become one.

The uncomfortable: I always knew Google had my information, but now I am realizing the “cost” to having “free” email and a really awesome, “free” Google search that delivers what I want it to do 24/7.  I guess it’s not so “free” after all.  It’s pretty disconcerting.

Google also let me know that, “by remembering the contact information of the people you want to share with, we make it easy for you to share in any Google product or service with minimal clicks.”  I’m feeling really warm and fuzzy just knowing that Google will remember everyone I have ever had as a contact and make it really easy for me to share things with all of  them.

There is no opting out of this one. The advice is, if you want privacy, stop doing things that can be tracked or putting so much information out there.  Our perception of what we thought was privacy, is about to change drastically.

I just wanted to Google, email, YouTube, eBay and cyberstalk in peace and anonymity. Is that too much to ask?


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