If you are interested in protecting your privacy consider using Duckduckgo(The search engine that doesn’t track you) as your default search engine. It has some great features. Duckduckgo is also available as an app for your iPhone. You can read more about Duckduckgo in the wikipedia article.
Mark Bernstein has written a 3 part series on the serious issue of how Wikipedia is being used as a weapon against feminists who have been criticizing the portrayal of women in games. Gamergate refers to gaming developers and enthusiasts who are using Wikipedia and other media to discredit their critics. Mark’s articles are an important expose of how Wikipedia’s policy decisions are allowing the web site to be used as a weapon in an information war. If this is not corrected will we ever be able to trust Wikipedia again and is this the beginning of the end of its downfall?
Previous to this Wikipedia has been a success story because of their editorial processes that prevented lies and misuse of the information on its site. What has gone wrong?! Will it be corrected?
My intent is not to spoil your happiness with Google (I use some of their services too) but in case you are curious why I am questioning their business model and trustworthiness below are a few reference points.
Google advertises themselves as the champion of openness but when it comes to their core business that matters (i.e. in order to trust motives follow the money) they are very secretive and their business model includes a lot of misdirection (e.g. almost all of their businesses lose money by design because they are subsidized by the only thing that matters which is their targeted advertising business). Which of the mega-corporations have the most transparent business model and clearest relationship with consumers?
I wrote a short article about Google security and privacy issues based on some videos of interviews with Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Eric Schmidt.
Mathias Doepfner of Axel Springer wrote an open letter to Eric Schmidt about Google’s capability to abuse their power from a European perspective.
It may already be too late … resistance may be futile but there are things even the least powerful can do to try to move in the right direction if we know what that is. If our futures are going to be determined by mega-corporations driven by the profit motive what business models would be most beneficial and least risky to society as a whole? Free services to placate consumers while our private data on all aspects of our lives is being harvested for purchase by the highest bidder? I think not.
It is essential to build consensus on what model a better future should be based on. It is not so much that certain people are evil but that they are incentivized/motivated by a model that is not healthy in the grand scheme of things. Are current technology trends leading us towards the greatest good for the greatest number of people? Too much power in the hands of a few people/corporations who could monitor and control the masses holds the risk of our future relying on the equivalent of benevolent dictators or feudal lords. Privacy could be the issue that future generations judge us on.