Google’s new technology is definitely innovative, but is it an invasion of privacy?

The article “Not Ok, Google”, written by Natasha Lomas on TechCrunch, goes into depth about all of the various new devices Google has recently released and how this technology might be going too far.

At its hardware launch event in San Francisco on October 4th, Google released a series of gadgets that connect to a cloud that will potentially generate far more data than ever before. Not only is the quantity of data far larger than before but the data itself is also far more intimate than what Google has seen in the past. The various technologies that are collecting said data include two new Google designed Android smartphones (referred to as Pixel), a new Google Assistant, Google Wifi routers, the Google Home speaker, an updated chrome cast (the Ultra), and the soft-touch Daydream View headset. Google has released a lot in a short amount of time, and it is safe to say that is an understatement.

Personally I agree with Natasha Lomas that the information Google is gathering is crossing a line. The Google Home system, for example, is built with a mute button in order to shut off the ear. Personally I think that is a boundary considering the device constantly listens and collects personal data until the user has to press a button to get the device to stop. Google is making it impossible for consumers to not feed into the steady stream of data by embedding itself in the domestic center of our lives. When Google was first created we all fed into the collection of data just by the mere use of early computers. Now Google is taking over our smartphones, speakers, routers and overall web of data, ultimately making it impossible to escape.

Google is trying to sell its new technology by working off of the motto of “building a personal Google for everyone, everywhere”. What they are leaving out of their pitch is the fact that in order to personalize Google for individuals they must collect endless amounts of personal data including your preferences, prejudices, opinions, dislikes etc. Google wants to predict what you are going to do before you do it, in an attempt to make suggestions and improve overall quality of life; however, is it worth losing all of our privacy? I personally do not think this is a fair trade off.


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