SAN FRANCISCO — You hear people voice concerns about the numerous ways Google touches our lives, and how many opportunities the company has to learn things about us. I used to shrug this off, but it’s getting harder and harder to ignore.
It seems like there just isn’t any technology space that Google doesn’t want to play in.
Here at the Google I/O shindig, Google’s keynote covered products that cover virtually every screen we see throughout the day. Google runs our phones, tablets, laptops, and soon will be looking up at us from the watches on our wrists, and out from the TVs in our living rooms.
Google can provide the security and environmental control systems in our homes, and our productivity docs and storage at work. Google says 190 million of us now use Google Drive tools and storage. Increasingly we’ll have an Android experience in our cars on the way to work.
Though Google+ was not mentioned once in today’s presentation, the social platform is still alive and well. Google now wants to provide the platform that stores our personal health data, and could potentially share it with our doctors, too.
For an increasing number of us, Google provides the fiber optic cables that connect us to the internet. In some cities, Google provides the Wi-Fi.
Google wants us to see the world through its eyes by wearing Google Glass.
Is there any screen or any aspect of life that Google will stay out of? Will it now cede even one space to other companies?
Where is this leading? Are we heading for a time when Google is somehow present every minute of every day?
And this gets worrisome when you remember that Google is, at its core, an advertising company. So the temptation must always be there to take information it learned about the way we act in a myriad of different spheres, and use it to advertise to us.
This is not a rant about privacy. That’s not my problem with Google. My question is simply this: How much is too much?
We like you, Larry and Sergey. We believe you don’t want to be evil. But how can we miss you if you won’t go away?