Come 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Stanford University started the Google project meant for evolving a good Internet search engine. They did it successfully with an ingenious and advanced algorithm map and by 1998, Google became a public name. Unmatched internal mechanism that kept on self-improvising and external minimal interface did the trick for Brin and Page. The artistic creativity aspect added wings to their flight, quite later. Google’s reputation was established and going to be so forever.
Everything else stops there except the twist that came in the story. The kind of money Google earned as the biggest platform for web search, it soon realized it owns the very turf it plays on. And since then, everything has changed.
You search Google for anything. You use its sophisticated e-mailing service, Gmail. You use Google docs and save your files in its cloud. Your web browser is Chrome. You connect on Google+ as it is simply a dish served in your plate and put before your eyes all the time, even before you ever willingly say, ‘Yes, I need Google+’. Even before then Orkut was rolled on without much consideration and research on how a social network site should be designed. It seems they wanted you to just board the ship anyhow and tell all things that you told on Facebook. Their need basically, not yours. And even today, Google+ is no exception. Thanks to FB and other newer sites, although the standard is raised, nevertheless it is still ill-designed, poorly optimized for users, with updates from Google hotshots pouring in for new users, without ever asking permission. You talk about ‘without permission’ and it reminds us of the location tracking stint Google did.
Well, that is not all. Your chat messages through Gtalk gadget are automatically stored until you change the settings. You read books on Google Books, watch videos on YouTube, check personalized news through Google Reader, use Google maps, translation, Picasa photo app, write on Blogger, and still more. Just count now how many Google things are right there! Everywhere you exist on the web, Google is there. And, you can never undermine what Google Maps and Google Earth are capable of.
All your personal information, your choices, your likes and dislikes, your whole damn talks, private and business e-mails, all of them and still more is under Google’s nose. Even the Android Smartphone you use is Google device. With Google sweeping each moment of your life so subtly, what choices have you got? Forget privacy rights and data protection policies, you would not even know if someone from Google is peeking into the minutest details of your complete hobnob. One glitch in their data encryption, and it would be visible to even hackers and spoofs. Either you are quite intelligent to understand the innards, or let me tell you, glitches happen, more often than not.
And, the way out? Do not make the salesperson from the downtown departmental store your best buddy and tell him all your things just because you buy all your household stuff from there. He might offer you great service and even free bargains, but it is better to get few things from other guys as well. And moreover, what Google deals in is not soaps or clothes or food, it is serious data business and every bit of your personal information counts, big time.
What about a Hotmail account for e-mail, Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest for social web (they are all different, of course), WordPress for blog, and so on. Trying Apple Macintosh as an operating system would be another good idea, as Microsoft Windows 8 is trying to re-link together all the services you use, via its own platform and a number of third-party apps. Introducing Sandbox on their platform was a unique approach by Apple to let users keep apps interaction with the operating system at the minimal best.
Keep your eyes open and start taking the world of Internet more seriously, get prepared and use some best practices before you really see some shark coming your way.
(Disclaimer: this is solely personal opinion, evidence would be your own wit and observation, and a little eye-for-details.)