Building notes, projects, and occasional rants

Buzz off

The lack of trust that Google as gained in the last year is impressive.

Gone are the days that you could actually believe the "Don't be evil" corporate motto. The reality came crushing down, and Buzz is only one of the last proofs that "Don't be evil" is much different proposition than "Do good".

I'm fortunate enough not to use a lot of Google services, but still the amount of information they have on me is scary. I knew some of it, and I was aware of the social graph efforts going on inside Google, in particular Brad Fitzpatrick work when he first joined The New Borg.

But the path they choose with Buzz, assuming that my address book or even my chat roster, has anything to do with my social network, is wrong on so many levels.

For the geeks at Google, it appears that one step in their quest to harness all of the human knowledge is to treat humans as a flat concept, without any levels in their social relations. I no longer have best friends, whom I trust almost everything about me but that rarely exchange electronic messages, but I keep in my address book, with some guy that asked me a couple of questions some months ago. All of them get put in the same basket. So the same level of trust and sharing privileges is attached to all of them by default.

What bothers me the most is that now, until I can find replacements for the services that I find useful at Google (address book and mail), I will have to create new empty random Google account, and use each one for parts of the data I have in there.

The Future

During my college days, I was specially interested on distributed systems. I intuitively believed that they were the only solution for resilient scalable network-oriented services. What I couldn't imagine was that just how much important they are for the little level of privacy that I expect from online services.

So one of my goals for 2010 is to split my online information across several online services. Also, study options to move them back to my control.

As for Google, I guess it is time to start working on active Google blocking tools. There is definitively a war coming.