11 July 2013

Google Is Big Brother

Nothing is ever simple anymore. As preparation for today's post, I wanted to update the list of blogs I follow in order to replace an outdated URL with its successor. The last time I did this was for a post titled The Shrinking Blogosphere?, when everything worked as it always had. This time, nothing worked.

After investigating for well over an hour, I realized that Blogger.com, the service that maintains this blog, was trying to force me to upgrade to Google Plus (whatever that entails). I had seen similar messages before, always presented at a bad time, like when I had something more urgent to do. This time, since I was completely blocked, I was forced to follow through with the upgrade, finally receiving the message, 'You are now using a Google+ profile on your blogs'.

For the record, the composite image at the left shows this blog before and after the profile change. When I looked at the new profile, I was surprised to find data like my job employment history, which I've never given to any Google service. I promptly deleted almost everything personal. I'm not even sure I want to add my photo. All things considered, the new profile is a big step backward.

Given the recent disclosures about surreptitious NSA tracking and given the amount of data Google already collects about my web habits, I'm reluctant to share voluntarily any further info about myself. I was recently forced to give the company information about my bank account. Whatever happened to 'Don't Be Evil'?

On top of everything else, I ran out of time for today's post. At least I was able to change the outdated URL.

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