Well, not really, but I figure I better say so. Google is listening.
Something to consider: the convictions in Steubenville were obtained with the assistance of the flood of data from cell phones. Bruce Schneier considers the implications of constant technological monitoring.
So, we’re done. Welcome to a world where Google knows exactly what sort of porn you all like, and more about your interests than your spouse does. Welcome to a world where your cell phone company knows exactly where you are all the time. Welcome to the end of private conversations, because increasingly your conversations are conducted by e-mail, text, or social networking sites.
And welcome to a world where all of this, and everything else that you do or is done on a computer, is saved, correlated, studied, passed around from company to company without your knowledge or consent; and where the government accesses it at will without a warrant.
Welcome to an Internet without privacy, and we’ve ended up here with hardly a fight.
Are you ready for a world with diminishing privacy? The more difficult question might be…is this a bad thing? The examples given are a little bit on the trivial side — but does it matter if Google, or anyone, knows what sort of porn you like? A little bit more openness might mean an end to shame and sanctimony — but I think the real concern is that selective openness is the danger. If everyone’s porn preferences were known to everyone else, it wouldn’t be a weapon…but if shame continues to fester in the culture at large, then corporations and institutions and individuals with privileged information can use it for unsavory purposes.
Also, I don’t think corporations have porn habits (that we know about!) that could be exploited, so it’s a little asymmetric. Corporations do have extensive financial information that they closet away, though — so if they get to follow our kinks and peccadilloes, do we get access to their shady transactions? That might be a fair trade. Which probably means it couldn’t possibly happen.