2 big questions to ask about Google and privacy

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s become a teensy bit trendy to trash Google and its position on privacy these days.

This wiggly ol’ web of ours has always spent a fair amount of energy focusing on how Google uses personal data, of course — and that’s a good thing. We absolutely should be aware of how companies do and don’t tap into our information.

Lately, though, the conversation has turned especially heated, with a growing chorus of virtual voices suggesting it’s time to ditch this-or-that Google service because of how it handles privacy and (insert spooky horror music and/or Sting ballad here) watches every move you make.

Now, look: I’m certainly not one to shy away from criticizing El Googlé. I hope that much is apparent by now, with as long as we’ve known each other. And I’m also not one to downplay the importance of privacy. It’s something I think about constantly and encourage others to do, too — and when a company’s using personal data in a way that seems the least bit shady, I’m among the first to call shenanigans.

But when it comes to this current narrative, popular as it may be in both the tech-media echo chamber and the social-media torture pit right now, I can’t help but think lots of folks are getting swept up in a messaging machine that has very little to do with real-world concerns in our (allegedly) human lives.

Let’s think it through together from a super-practical perspective, shall we?

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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