Android and Privacy
Although I am a huge fan of Google, Android, and all of their respective services, I’m still a little uncomfortable to fully commit to any of them, as first and foremost Google is an advertising company. Any time Google launches a new service or feature, be it for Google, Android, or Chrome, we’re left to wonder how it fits into Google’s business plan. For example, Google recently announced their new Google Now service, which learns your daily patterns and can proactively offer helpful and pertinent information. Seems like a great feature, but it doesn’t take much effort to look down the road and see how Google could use this as another type of ad space. If the purpose of Google Now is to proactively offer information based on learned behavior, who’s to say I won’t begin to see sponsored offers on my screen based on where I am, or what conversations I’ve had through Gmail or Talk? How do we know which of Google’s services are honest and transparent, and which ones are simply yet another one of Google’s giant tentacles created as a means of collecting data?
I’ll elaborate. How do we know which Google services are free, ad-free, and free of taking and logging data, with costs subsidized by increasing our affinity towards Google’s search services, and which services are tracking data on our behavior and usage to paint a better picture of what type of consumers we are?
There should be a clearly defined line showing what Google scans and what it doesn’t. Text messaging? Google collects SMS routing information. Obviously web searches, but what about web history? Does Chrome browser for Android log web history differently than the default Android browser, or other browsers?
Information we get from your use of our services. We may collect information about the services that you use and how you use them, like when you visit a website that uses our advertising services or you view and interact with our ads and content.
Our phones have become essential and intimate devices. There are certain interactions and utilities which we as users would like to think don’t go beyond the device. There is a separate topic of discussion about what information and interactions between us as users and our phones we can consider to be inherently ours. But until we can know where the line is drawn, I’m going to root for the growth and development of a mobile OS from a company whose primary objective is not to sell ads.(Shared from my Tumblr)