Dear Google

Dear Google,

I think you go too far. Organizing all my data is one thing. Google Desktop's new feature of collecting every piece of information about me and that I own and transferring it to your site (in order to make it globally searchable) is quite another. Regardless of the integrity of your security, your well-intentions, and your vow to do no evil I have the following concerns.

1. Security is fleeting; it only takes a single exploit now or in the future for a malicious cracker to steal all my information from you.

2. Corporate policies change; corporations have no morals and no goals other than to maximize shareholder value and cannot be punished for wrongdoing.

3. Despite the fact that the Google Desktop privacy policy lists only a single "uses" clause, I am fearful of what your army of highly intelligent employees can do, beyond providing search or focused advertising, when armed with every piece of information about my internet usage, my financial records, my personal and professional email and instant message conversations, my shopping habits and interests, and likely a host of other data I've neglected to mention.

I would not grant any other company the level of trust that you ask of your users. Therefore, despite the fact that I believe, for the moment, in your intention to do no evil, I cannot justify granting you that level of trust either.

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You do realise the feature is optional and is OFF by default... This makes your rant pretty redundant as:

  • a) only those who are stupid enough to turn it on deserve what they get if their information is hacked
  • b) those who are fully aware of what it does but want to keep their information
  • c) those who know what it does but want the functionality to search across multiple workstations (I know I do with 3 computers on the home network and 2 work computers)

Don't like the feature? Don't turn it on. Simple solution for a trivial problem.

You have mistaken my statement of concerns for a rant. While this particular feature is disabled by default my concerns about Google's objective to collect as much user data as possible are still quite valid in my opinion. Thank you for your comments though.

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