The Monster That Is Google, Continued.

Image representing Gmail as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

It has been some time since I have posted on the evil being conducted by Google, mostly because it seemed as if Google was coming around a bit.

But today, links to this Gawker report about how Google is spying on our gmail accounts to mine data in order to better compete with facebook.  Here's how it works.

[Google] says it looks for "similarities between your connections" in your Gmail address book and in social networking accounts that Google thinks might belong to you. "For example," said the Google page, "Bob's Google Contacts have names that are very similar to the names of people he follows publicly on Twitter." Once Google finds a social networking account that might belong to you, it offers to "connect" the account to your Google account, saying the connection will help personalize and improve your Google search results, will make it easier for friends "to find the stuff you share on the web," and will optionally leave you with a Google profile that shows all your other accounts and ranks high in Google search results.

The result of which is,

by combing through your Gmail contacts, Google makes it more likely you will participate in its own efforts to compete more effectively with its archrival Facebook. "They are doing this to assemble another copy of [your social] graph by scraping other sources, rather than making their own," a source told Business Insider.
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One thought on “The Monster That Is Google, Continued.”

  1. I’m struggling to find any evil in this. I’m also not seeing how it’s competing against facebook.

    First, facebook’s messaging system is awful, although it’s getting better. They’ve recently chosen to allow you to reply to messages from your email account (I wonder how many gmail accounts are registered by facebook users). That was facebook’s choice.

    Saying why doesn’t Google build their own social networking site is like saying why doesn’t facebook have an email account? Their different functions entirely.

    So if you connect your gmail account, now all of a sudden you have an updated address book and your searches are more personalized – and you didn’t have to provide any additional personal information. I think that’s awesome.

    If the competition is found in the amount of time one spends on each site, I’ll say this:

    The majority of facebook visitors’ time is spent browsing and authoring wall posts and browsing and uploading photos. Not messaging. If someone wants to send a message and they have that person’s email, they’ll probably use email. And if someone wants to find something on the web, they’ll most likely use google or bing.

    It doesn’t seem to change anything, just making it more efficient.

    Perhaps I’m missing something.

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