Google has recently emerged as a company with strong integration to all its portfolio of products. While this is a good thing to happen for folks who consider Google as the equivalence of the “Web”, there has been lot of controversies in the way Google is trying to integrate its products especially from the security perspective.
Google launched its Google latitude platform in early 2009 and I was a user of Google latitude for few months whereby I shared my location and invited some of my close buddies to share their location. It was kind of cool those days. With the updates for Google Latitude coming in, the app got bulky and ate lots of CPU cycles. I have disabled the location sharing and stopped using the app since then. Recently I logged into my Google Latitude dashboard and was really *surprised* to see the amount of data mining that Google has done with the data it has collected for few months while I was using the app.
Here is the snapshot of my dashboard. Damn!
There could be many reasons as to why Google would try to read the user behavior by mining the data from user activities across Google products. The most obvious reasons is to provide location based services – through its Google search, places ans other tons of Google services to push its ad based revenues. Having said that, I am afraid to believe Google’s own philosophy “Don’t be evil“. Whatever we are seeing about the data being captured from user behavior is the most obvious ones. Are we assured that there are no user data been captured through the Android / Chrome OS in the background? Anyone even mind to read the T&C before installation??
On March 28, Google launched Google Activities which is going to be a more integrated dashboard for your behavior on the Google platform across Google products. It would definitely be pretty interesting to review your own activities 🙂 as long as Google does not interpret in any wrong way.
A-GPS is still not accurate in some parts of the World. The data that Google has captured and stored in its dashboard might end up providing you some nonsense location based search results which you would never like to see in your search results (or even in the ad section). Obviously Google cannot be blamed for this, as that data fed to through A-GPS is invalid. This is what happened to me when i was reviewing the my Latitude dashboard. Luckily, there is an option available to prevent Google to read your behavior.
So your user own judgement to decide if Google should be your master or not!