Google just bought Nest. Great for Nest and the team there. But now I’m wary of yet another product.
Let me be clear. Google was and really still is the de facto search engine with great results. But the corporation has a knack of both pissing me off and unsettling me every time they do anything or the walking pit of arrogance Eric Schmidt opens his yap.
They bought Waze. All fine really, if it’s independent and my location data isn’t shared with Google. It is a brilliant service, and developed by some really talented people. But I don’t want my information getting connected with a bunch of marketing or the US government or whomever else Schmidt and Google decide they want to sell it to.
I still use Waze, but not as often. It just doesn’t have that feeling of goodness and confidence because now Google is behind it. They always seem to feel entitled to any data and anything they can discover, and that they can sell or market it how they see fit. Europe has given them a few slaps, and the US and Canada the odd one as well with their wi-fi trolling via their StreetView cars. But they seem to just keep going these sorts of trust-betraying things.
So now the thermostat and smoke detectors are in the Googleplex. The system connects with a central server to track data and remotely control your home systems. It’s really good, convenient, energy efficient and part of where smart homes should have been going a long time ago.
But I just don’t trust Google anymore with data. After Schmidt infamously stated “Just change your name at 18” for people that wanted to leave their Internet history behind (Like you couldn’t also track that bit of info down if it happened) and was completely insensitive to the entire idea of personal privacy, added to the book digitization, added to the echo-chamber we-will-show-you-what-WE-think-you-want-to-see-too-bad-if-you-want-the-old-pure-algorithm modification of things, and unknown hundreds of other behind the scene shaping of our digital experience, I’m just getting fed up with this company. They need to earn the trust of their customers back. The issue is we aren’t their customers. We are their product. Many writers far more talented and diligent than I have expounded on this at length. I was a customer of Nest, not a product. I was somewhat of a product of Waze as it was free and ad supported, but it wasn’t wired in with the rest of Google initially.
Now I’m a product for all these things I purchased. Somehow it seems wrong. I want to be able to unplug from the Nest site and host the interconnect and data somewhere else now. I don’t like the feeling at all. I don’t like the implied control being in Google’s hands, in the hands of a company that regularly EOLs products after they destroy the ecosystem (Google Reader being the most recent), or after they are relied on my people or businesses.
So Google, I’m asking. Why should I trust you with all this information of MINE?