Monday, 17 February 2014

Google - how evil can we be?

Sorry. An entirely non-photography related mini-rant.

While trying to navigate the ludicrously byzantine menus of Google trying to disable yet another "helpful" feature (not to mention the forcing of users to activate their helpful Google+ account to even modify any such settings), I found the little group of tick boxes above.

"Show geo location". No thanks. I quite like retaining the last vestiges of personal physical privacy I have left (even though I live in the most surveilled state in history - the good old United Kingdom).

"Auto enhance" photos. Yes, I found this "helpful feature" before, and it was this that made me first lament the fact that I could only disable it by signing up to the data-mining Google+. Auto enhance was awful. Results that nobody would actually want, least of all somebody like me who is pretty sure I know what I want from my photos. I noticed this time that whereas before it was a simple on/off, they have changed it to be high/normal/off, and even though I had switched it off previously, it had reset itself to "normal". No, Google, you control freak idiots, that's not what I wanted, and you know it.

"Find my face in photos and videos". Features like this should send chills down any person's spine. And show just how far sighted George Orwell was. If I could go back in time fifteen years, I would tell myself (a pretty mature and responsible internet user) not to put any real personal information on the web, wherever possible. Companies can never do good things with your data, only evil.

"Auto awesome"? Ah yes. Wrap up the control freakism and totalitarianist tendencies with a bit of cute sounding fuzziness. No, Google. Go fu*k yourself.

This time, all I was looking for was a way for Google to not display my real name on Youtube. That's all I wanted. Surely not difficult. Oh no.. Google, you are greedy, evil, data devouring, NSA-bed-sharers.. Anybody who wears Google Glass is basically signing themselves up to be audio/video gathering drones for Google's benefit.

Put simply, the company scares me.