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27 September 2006

Google, A Friend or Foe!?

Today is Google's 8th Birthday. It's really interesting to see an 8 years old child having such effect on the whole world. Actually, I use Google's search engine all the time, and you know what, I prefer it to Yahoo for example just because of it's clean and simple interface. The simple interface loads quickly and this makes it the best choice for my browser's homepage. Gmail's conversation view and displaying emails as threads is one of the features that makes me prefer it to Yahoo and Hotmail for example. The Web Clips and Chat are attractive features in Gmail too that other emails services don't have. There are zillions of other services made by Google every day.

But, many others keep asking, why do they offer all these services for free. According to what I consider the golden rule for life, "Nothing for free", there must be some hidden fees paid somewhere by someone. And here comes my friend's, let's call him S, conspiracy theory. Mr. S belives that Google offer us Gmail for free in order to store our emails search into them, find patterns about us, and know some of our valuable information, they do the same thing with our Google Talk conversations, Search keywords, etc. It may be the US government who is behind all this, or may be they just collect these info in order to sell them to the one who pays more. Since Google is my browser's homepage they can know the time I normally go online, they may collect the keywords I search for daily to know my interests, they may get from my Google Talk history some info about my friends and may be Credit Card number, Telephones (from the Gmail Address book), travel schedules, you name it.

Let me ask, why it's only Google who is suspected for gathering our info, doesn't Microsoft for example owns our machines via windows and they can simply collect as much info about us as they want. Yahoo, Hotmail, and many other email services can do the same thing with our emails too. We may keep on thinking of thousands of scenarios but then we will stop using the internet and may be just stop using computers, and even mobile phonse. We may also use Email clients to encrypt our emails, as well as web anonymizers in order to hide our identity while searching, but if you really belive in conspiracy theory you sure know that all these precautions are not enough. The only option left to us is to surrender to all those spys and information gathering systems everywhere around us, and pray to God that someday they get a virus on their systems and loose our info there.

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