Luckily I’ve mostly resisted the siren call of the Googleverse aside from their search engine. But I guess I’m starting to think that I should be more careful even there. Am I just being paranoid? Or should I start using some kind of add-on to prevent Google from tracking my activity? What says the hive mind?
Maybe there is something I am missing here but Google tracking my – and everyone else’s – activity seems awesome.
Now, when it comes to the government I can grant that there are some grand issues associated with privacy and the potential of authorities to abuse that information. Though, if we were to be honest I am not sure this is a serious practical concern.
Not, to be sure, because I don’t think the government would spy on us at every chance if it could. No, instead because for most practical purposes the information in collects is of little value.
My guess – and again I welcome Julian Sanchez to say why I am wrong – is that this extends from a basic instinctual drive for privacy which in turn extends from concerns about being ostracized from the larger group for abnormal behavior.
However, in modern America this is not really a threat. There is virtually no odd behavior that does not have an associated MeetUp.com group.
Now that being said there are particular types of information that will be potentially hurtful or embarrassing unless or until we readopt an extremely strict set of social conventions.
However, if Google breaks that information open my guess is that you will indeed see a re-emergence of conventions that explicitly quarantine vice from the rest of professional and personal life
In any case my core point is that its not possible to have a society in which the majority of people have their privacy regularly and publically violated. Such regular violation will simply alter the terms on which people judge each other and therefore what is meaningfully private.