I’m sure you have all read articles in the marketplace regarding the collection of personal data, online habits, and likely much more from websites. Facebook itself is notorious for being an unsecure site, yet it does not hinder its growth or use. Even though hackers accessed Mark Zuckerberg’s profile as a way to illustrate how easy it is to hack into the site.
Then you have Google with its Google cars taking pictures of homes and places of business to use for its Google maps, which triggered the debate of what is public versus private information. That was just one talking point that resulted from their initiative – not to mention that the technology they used was capable of collecting user information and passwords from their personal electronic devices – all from a car.
So now we have Google announcing that it will NOT allow users to opt-out of its data collection practices. This change in privacy settings applies to Gmail, Google searches, YouTube, Android mobile phones, etc. Meaning, that Google may have access to the contents of your emails, which says that this will help them better target advertising.
All of this is a bit much for me. It makes me uncomfortable not knowing what information about me is being collected. Granted, I can see both sides of the argument, well Google is providing the technology, so if you don’t like their practices, don’t use them. However, I will not be surprised if one day legislation is created that builds a comprehensive opt-out list for all websites and electronic services.
And yet as I write this, I can’t help but be reminded of the most recent article about our own government secretly tracking what school children eat – all without parental consent or with the kids knowing. This happened at the grade school that I went to! So perhaps the creation of some comprehensive opt out list may never become a reality.