I’ve found myself more and more wary of doing things that I’d like to do with Google applications simply out of some primal, lizard brain fear of giving too much control of my data to one source. It’s not that I don’t trust Google, it’s not that I don’t like the applications, it’s that I’m worried they might fall to some ill use, out of the control of the current brand as I’ve come to understand it today. Or perhaps it’s deeper than that – I simply can’t let too much of my online life run through any one control point, regardless of who it is.
Already, Google has my feed (through Feedburner), a portion of my business( through Doubleclick, which serves some of our ads at FM), most of my search history (I use Google more than any other engine), and another portion of my business (we use Google for backfill ads at FM). But yesterday I decided not to run Google Calendar for something business related, even though it would have been perfect for us, and earlier we decided to not run Google spreadsheets, because we didn’t want “Google” to have access to sensitive competitive information. I still use some Google services for other portions of the work I do – like planning conferences, for example.
But I have noticed that I’ve hit, perhaps, my “Google saturation point.”
How about all of you? Has this issue crossed your mind?
Update: Matt writes: given Google’s strict privacy policies, I wouldn’t worry about something like using Google Calendar or Gmail. I’ll check if someone at Google can talk a bit somewhere about the protections we have in place for data like that.
I would love to see the text applying directly to that, Matt. I recall the overall TOS for an account, but they include text like this:
11.1….By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.
11.2 You agree that this licence includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.
# We may use personal information to provide the services you’ve requested, including services that display customized content and advertising.
# We may also use personal information for auditing, research and analysis to operate and improve Google technologies and services.
Well, that’s pretty broad, Matt. What if you use the data an entrepreneur gives you about his new startup, say through Analytics or Calendar, to make your competing service better?