Google + My Data = Crazy Conspicuous

Crazy ConspicuousSee? This is what I was talking about. This is the slow steady systematic decline that I was talking about.

Don’t believe me yet, tha’s coo.

Coz see, now that Google can track your email, your search history, your chats, what comes next? Gee, let’s see. Would be nice if you could go back and grab your cell phone convos right? Oh wait, Gtalk and FON will help there… And where you’ve been? Dodgeball’s got that covered. Hell, you can even map that stuff on Gmaps — or one step bigger — Earth.

So what happens when Google rolls out wifi or flips the switch on all that dark fiber it’s got?

Tell you what, yeah, you’ll be able to get movies downloaded hella fast, but Google will also have the most lucrative person-database ever assembled. That Google credit card you just applied for? Ho ho ho. MAN I wish that kind of information about myself.

So look, I’m over it. I said as much before. Privacy is dead. Get over it.

Well ok fine, I’m not really over it, but it sounds more dramatic when I put it that way.

What isn’t finished, however, is how much control over that information you should be able to exert. You know how much you hate it when you walk into a party and all of a sudden everyone starts whispering, looking sidewards at you, raising eyebrows. Wouldn’t it just be so great if you could turn up the volume of what everyone’s saying and hear just what they think about you — and better yet, see which Dicks Jane is sharing that information with?

That’s the problem here. Once Google rolls out GoogleNet, we’re effed. It’s that simple. There’ll be a “personal information tax” that they’ll charge you just to take a look at your information (alright alright, I hear you snicker, maybe they won’t, but they sure could!).

So there’s got to be competition — and I don’t mean from the other biggies. I mean from us. I mean from the people who’s data they’re harvesting and already claim dominion over. I mean that we need to build our own economy and our own means of leveraging this data — and of course building the means to syphon it back out of the biggies. You think they’re going to give up this information easily, willfully? Sorry Toto, we’re not in Germany, here (can’t count on the government anyway when it’s just as eager to have this kind of information about its citizenry anyway).

So yeah. Just keep it in the back of your head. As Google grows, becomes more powerful, more all-knowing, whatchoo gunna do about? What can you do about it once they know everything about you — and all of your transactions pass through the Google network? I’m not scared of this — and I’m not raising the paranoia flag. Fuck that, it’s too late for paranoia. This is the future and the present; so the only question now is, what do we make of it now that we’re here? And, moreover, how do we put all this data to work for us?

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: (YC W18), Uber, Google.

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