Google uses the moniker, “Don’t Be Evil,” but is that the truth behind the company? A look at Google Plus might change your mind.
Google+ is an interesting creature. One that is gaining popularity rather quickly. It is also one that might not last due to Google’s own policies.
The buzz around Google wanting people to only use real names in Google+ is gaining more and more steam. People are not happy with this idea. Everyone thought that Google+ would be better than Facebook. It definitely has the potential to compete with Facebook. The naming issue is turning into a stumbling block.
I will not go into depth on the whole idea of hiding from stalkers using a pseudonym in a social media setting. Instead I look at it from a natural way to know people. I have a great deal of online friends. I know them by their names from games, from forums, form other places that you don’t use your normal name. So when I see that Joe Shmo instead of DJ Cool J has added me to their circles, I have to sit back and wonder who the heck is following me? For that matter, Google+ is only as usable as the people you have in your circles, and if I cannot find them easily, which means nicknames, pseudonyms, etc, then I am not going to use the site.
Google though, sees the whole Social Media world as data. Just like search, just like AdWords, it is all data that can be used with algorithms to extract bits of information. That information can then be used to send targeted advertising to you. This increases the chance that Google and the company who is advertising can make some money off you. Its all about making a buck.
So should it surprise anyone that Google wants to mine what you say in Google+. What you Link to? Who you are? The amount of data that Google can dig up on each one of us through public means can really give a good profile of us. That can be used for Advertising, or worse, should Google decide to use it for “Homeland Security” purposes.
The book In The Plex by Steven Levey takes a good look at Google. Brin and Page (Google’s Founders) are all about the data and search. Data especially, because they want to have everything in the world indexed in one spot. Just imagine if that data fell into the wrong hands.