[ubuntu-uk] Google Chrome

Mac Ammonius.Grammaticus at googlemail.com
Tue Sep 2 06:15:08 BST 2008

Tiago Vieira wrote:
> ...I believe they (Mozilla, Google, and MS)
> are going a bit more than just a browser... they are going to mash the
> browser into the desktop environment... this is just the beginning.

Hi, Tiago >>> I think that's right, or one could even say they want to 
*replace* the desktop with the browser.  And your comment set me 
thinking that we should not wander into that 'Web2' world blindly, 
dazzled by the 'gee whiz' services that Google and others proffer us in 
return for our lodging our data with them.

I think we have to ask ourselves what do Google, MS, Facebook, My Space 
and others get out of spending all that money on storage for our data. 
Do they do it out of altruism?  What they get is the opportunity to 
analyse it in order to see the patterns in our behaviour and 
relationships, so that they may make use of, and maybe sell, their 
analyses for their own ends and profit.  Knowledge about us beyond the 
wildest dreams of early twentieth century market researchers!

Privacy isn't just about keeping secret the few bits of information 
about yourself that you think matter -- what Google's 'Privacy Policy' 
refers to as 'personal information'.  Focusing on 'name, date of birth, 
bank account details, and mother's maiden name' distracts us from other 
aspects of privacy.  It's also an aspect of privacy that Google (and 
other folk who hold our data) have the right - as 'bailees' of our 
information - to examine it and analyse, so that they may discern, 
understand and predict the patterns of our lives better than we do 

So I wonder whether we shouldn't think twice before we sign up to put 
our data in the hands of 'Web2 service providers'.

(End of rant.  You may have guessed that I'm not not a computer 
scientist, but a social scientist -- so I know what you can do with 
information about patterns of behaviour, which is why Web2 worries me!)


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