Google+ and “Privacy”

Lukas Mathis on Google+:

To me, it feels as if Facebook is constantly trying to trick me into doing things that are good for Facebook’s bottom line, but bad for me.

and later:

Perhaps most importantly, Google+ handles privacy in a prominent and intuitive way.

In fairness Mathis is likely talking about privacy between users, not privacy between users and the service provider (Google in this case).

However, the latter case of privacy is far more important and is identical between Facebook and Google: in both cases, you the user, is the product that the company is selling.

As far as Google+’s privacy policy:

We will record information about your activity – such as posts you comment on and the other users with whom you interact – in order to provide you and other users with a better experience on Google services.

That’s the same stuff they use in the normal privacy policy language, and correct me if I am wrong, but the number one Google “service” is targeted advertising. I’m not so stupid to accuse Google of handing over your information to advertisers — that’d be a bad business move by Google (they want to own that information) — but certainly Google+ is a fantastic way to serve even more targeted ads to users (even if those ads never appear on Google+ itself).

Yes, call me paranoid, but Gruber’s right — Google wants Google+ to be huge, because it is the fastest and most accurate way to better target advertising — of which it makes billions off of doing — not because they want to compete with Facebook.

Originally posted for members on: July 7, 2011
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