It’s pretty astounding to me that journalists can get away with writing about things they don’t understand, at all. Take Washington Post journalist and author of this post,Â Hayley Tsukayama. She is a blogger and has a Master’s Degree in journalism. She is not a lawyer or a technologist, but she’s writing about a technology company’s legal agreement. And to be fair, the FAQs article that I link to is more or less fine, but there are a couple of things that people are extracting from her article that are being interpreted the wrong way, probably by design. The biggest offender is this one:
Can I opt-out?:Â No.
Then there is this fantastic quote by Jeff Chester,Â executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a Â privacy advocacy group:
There is no way anyone expected this
That is a pretty piss-poor statement for director of a privacy group to make. I think anyone with half a brain and a Google account could have expected this. Google is in the business of data, and they offer all of their services (or most of them) for free. Of-course they are going to leverage that data to provide what they say are better services. There is of-course, a simple way to prevent this.
Get rid of your Google account. And your Facebook account. Twitter; Linked-In; MySpace (huh?). No one is forcing you to use this stuff. You can still use Google search without a Google account and it will work just as well (maybe even better). So if you want to keep your information private, don’t go screaming it on a crowded street. Keep it to yourself.