The disinformation agents, propaganda creators, and PR spinners are out. Are you sharing what they created?
Here’s one I saw on LinkedIn. This infographic came from an article where journalist Tom Gara dug into everything Google knew about him. Disclaimer: I didn’t read the article. I’m reacting to seeing this isolated infographic going around LinkedIn.
Commentary after the screen shot.
Tom found that Google knew a wild amount about him.
But here is where it’s different. Tom can find those things about himself but I can’t find those things out about Tom (unless he’s made them public). I might know his location perhaps from LinkedIn or finding his website. I might know he has an Android phone if he’s mentioned that in online writings.
Can I find out what he’s searched for online? Can I read his emails? Do I know what’s in his calendar? Can I get all the contacts from his address book? Will Google let me at his saved passwords?
No. It’s logical fallacy-o-rama to say Facebook, Google, and Apple are the same. Yes, they all have lots of info. No, they are treating that info very differently.
Google knows a lot about me.
And they use it to advertise to me. To anticipate what I might type. To give me the weather where I am without saying where I am.
But it’s still nothing like what Facebook did and is likely to continue doing in one way or another, no matter how they spin it.
When you target a Google ad to me, Google gives you no information about me. There is no way for you to find 100 recent pictures of me I shared with “friends only,” not the public. Google doesn’t give you, the advertiser, my personal information.
Unless I specifically use a service that logs into my Gmail, you’re not getting information on what I tend to write emails about. Yes, Google KNOWS what emails are about. They use that to show you ads. But they don’t give or sell that information to other people.
If you add me on Google Plus (what’s that?), do you get the email addresses of everybody else I added? Of course not. This all sounds wild, right? But it’s what Facebook did every minute.
The cry is: Google and Apple are the same.
Are they really? Does Apple have a “graph” like Facebook where outside people, developers, and “researchers” can tap in to know everything Apple is storing about you?
Over on LinkedIn, a friend posted an article asking if people will ever trust Facebook with their data again. I commented, “No. Delete Facebook.” Some nobody on LinkedIn decided to tell me Facebook was the same as Google and Apple. When I disagreed, he went for the ad hominem. Classy! Funny how it always ends up in personal insult land, especially if your argument isn’t that strong.
After this guy unloaded on me, I clicked into his profile. He spent 5 years as [title removed but it includes Director] at Facebook. Well, Facebook thanks you for your continued loyalty… and friendly attitude!
It’s time for us to care. And be more careful.
It’s time for us to have standards. Every time a new technology or system comes out, people just say yes to everything with it. It’s fun to take quizzes, friend strangers, and read online articles that require complete access to my Facebook account. Yes, why not!
Time for us to all get smarter and have standards. I’m not going to bother saying you should “curb” or change your Facebook usage. I am advocating for completely deleting it. It’s a huge time waster, distraction, and it’s been SO nice to get back to one-on-one catching up with real friends. It’s an ego stroke to imagine that a pile of people care about all of your thoughts and pics.
While it would be faster and easier to log into Quora with Google for faster logins, no, I don’t want Quora having access to my Google contacts or address book. In reality, Quora wouldn’t need that until I decide to “invite” or connect with friends, which should be optional. Instead, I opt to create an account with email and password.
Raise your standards.
As you see the propaganda rolling out that will make Facebook look “normal” and not so bad, be smarter. Think critically about the claims. I don’t have to ask myself what strangers know about me because Google gives them personally identifiable data… because it doesn’t. But I know that randoms around the world have a pile of information on me matched with my full name, phone numbers, email addresses, places I’ve lived, where I’ve worked, etc…
It’s very different.