I’ve been in IT a long time, coming up on 20 years. When I begin Yahoo was a titan, Excite was still around, and I felt snobbish with Ask Jeeves (they had a butler as a logo….hence the snobbish feel…) but the search engine that I ended up gravitating to was Google. Google worked the best.
This was also a time when there were arguments between Macintosh and Windows fanbois. Linux was barely a thing, and it was difficult to find computer parts to mash together correctly for Linux to work due to a lack of drivers. Going back to Mac, Mac was it’s own OS…not utilizing a Unix/Linux kernel as it does today. Microsoft was new…..and lots of programs broke. You haven’t lived until you’ve loaded NT 3.5 or 4 from floppy disk. And SQL 2000 was on the horizon, but still a novelty when compared to Oracle and SAP.
Google though, they were different. Their company moto was Don’t Be Evil. You felt like you could trust Google to do what was right. So when they got into the email game, of course I switched over. In fact, ever since 2000 or 2001, I have supported and used Google. I felt like I could trust them to protect my identity and my data.
Back in the day, we didn’t worry too much about privacy. We didn’t really use our real names, we didn’t give out personal information, and flip phones were all the rage. Thankfully, the era of pagers was dying off. Broadband was becoming more common as well. Of course you haven’t lived until you’ve had to use a modem and kept a reference of AT codes on standby.
Broadband. Ad supported revenue. Googles innovation. The iPhone. Social media became a thing. Now we live in a world where most people are connected 24/7. Most people overshare details about their lives via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Somewhere in that time, consumers okayed media giants access to their data via user agreements and app access. Lets face it, when you can log into everything at the click of a single button, life is so much easier right? We assumed that the company would safe guard and protect that data. Or at least, it wasn’t unreasonable to assume that if you keep up with the motto of “Don’t be evil”.
Now it’s all about profit. Google is a subsidiary of the parent company Alphabet. Alphabet has their fingers in everything. They no longer seem to care about the consumer, just about the money. Maybe it was always about the money.
A few years ago, I moved off Android in favor of iPhone because I was tired of the potential for security breaches on my phone. It was give and take. I gave up some control over the OS and some functionality for better security. The other upside was, the iPhone seemed to work better. Which started me looking into the Apple ecosystem. Three years later, the wife and I have switched completely to iPhones, MacBooks, iMacs, Apple Tvs. Why? Because Apple designs their stuff with security in mind.
And now, the last part of Google I held on to was my G Suite setup. It hosted my email, I used G Drive, and Google pics. And now it’s gone. I have moved all of it off to Office 365. Is it more secure? Maybe, maybe not. But I feel like Microsoft cares more about my privacy than Google. And coming from someone who worked in IT during the Gates/Ballmer years, that’s saying something.
Google stopped caring
Maybe that’s a stretch and maybe it isn’t. I know it bothered me when they ignored the call to testify before the Senate in regards to political ads and election interference. Facebook showed up, so did Twitter. An empty chair represented Google. Seriously…..you blew off the Senate?
Ok. That wasn’t the only thing that got under my skin. I’ve seen lots of video and reports about the liberal leanings of the company. That’s their right. But they shouldn’t discourage discussion or bury conservative news, but it sure seems like it happens.
There are have been up troubling reports. Like Google developing a search engine for the Chinese government that allows them to censor results. And now they have decided to shut down Google+ because 500k accounts may have been compromised. And then there is the reports that Google allows developers to view email of users.
Bottom line. I no longer trust Google. I no longer trust them to protect my data. I no longer trust them to limit censorship. I no longer trust Google to remember not everyone thinks or believes the same things. I no longer believe Google cares about anything but Google and Google’s wallet.