Since 1998, Google has grown from a minimalistic search engine to the single biggest Internet force in the world. (And, because of that, arguably one of the most powerful organizations on the planet.) Some of Google’s new features, however, are less like that of a big Internet multinational and more reminiscent of…well, the United States.
1. Google Keeps Track of You
Not only does Google offer a GPS feature for phones through which Google satellites know your exact location, but they’ve also created “Google Latitude.” Latitude is used to find where a person is through their computer or cell phone signal. So if you’re looking to get off the grid, be sure to ditch your phone along the way.
2. The Google Spy Ring
Okay, it isn’t as intimidating as it sounds but it’s still a bit much. For one, Google Earth and Google Streetview allows anyone in the world to see your house and the area around your house (unless you’re Dick Cheney). Secondly, Google’s bots read through your e-mail. Ever notice how the ads on top of your Gmail account relates to the e-mails in your inbox? That’s because Google scans every piece of mail you get. Feeling weirded-out yet?
3. Google Has Its Own Foreign Policy
As the world’s biggest Internet service, Google has to keep up the demands of all sorts of nations, including China. Google came under fire, and rightly so, for censoring countless websites at the request of the Chinese government in 2006, thus proving that universal information will always be trounced by the almighty dollar.
5. Google “WalMarts” Its Opponents
In the same way that Walmart destroys their competition by offering prices so low, smaller businesses can’t compete, Google muscles out their opponents with their monstrous technical apparatus. You don’t get to the top of the search engine and advertising game without putting some muscle into it, but Google is now big enough to out-muscle lumbering giant, Microsoft.
5. Google Keeps a File on You
This isn’t just your search history, kids. Google keeps track of what you do on the Internet, particularly what ads you click and what websites you go on so as to put the most attractive ads to your likes on the pages you visit. Ever hear of the NSA data mining program? Well, it’s like that, but this is worse because the NSA doesn’t try to sell you anything.
Follow the author, Igor Derysh, on Twitter @igorderysh