Sunday, August 10, 2008

google and privacy

A few weeks ago I found out that my google login has morphed into some kind of global login that can be accessed by sites all over the internet. Apparently, as long as I'm logged into blogger or gmail, any site that I visit can get my google profile information.

And it turns out that Google keeps a list of all google searches ever done, along with the IP address of the computer that did the search. And since they also know your IP address when you log in, if you have any kind of google account, they can easily make a list of every google search that you have ever done.

And, I just found out that Google is sending presence information to people that I have corresponded with a few times via gmail. In other words, if I've sent you a few email messages then you have a way to know when I'm on-line or not and when I'm active or not. They did this without asking me for permission.

I can only conclude from all this that Google has absolutely no interest in protecting the privacy of their users. I'm still trying to decide what to do about this. I don't want to move my blog at this point and I don't want to look for another email provider. I'll probably just drop the blog and start accessing email only through POP.

I've been thinking of switching to a purely technical blog anyway. This might be the time to do it.

But not on Google.