Monday, 23 December 2013

Convenience vs. Privacy

I have moved on from the stationary computer, via the laptop (on which I'm writing this) to the mobile device. Of course, I still have my stationary computer and laptop - the smartphone is merely a new piece of technology that complements the first two. I'm currently sitting at Okęcie airport waiting for our flight to London to board, using the laptop a) to check our inbound flight from Heathrow on FlightRadar24 and b) to blog. The laptop is fine when you are sitting, have time and access to Wi-Fi. But at standing at a bus stop or on the platform of a railway station when it's drizzling, the laptop is not the answer. The smartphone wins out - but on one condition.

It has to know where you are. Google will then helpfully give you information about traffic conditions, weather, the news that Google knows you are interested in. The more information you give Google, the more helpful it becomes. Yesterday, while wandering about Warsaw doing Xmas shopping, Google Cards was my ever-helpful companion, giving me access to much useful information. Google has worked out where I work and where I live, and tells me what traffic conditions are between the two locations. And the Google Chrome browser on my smartphone has remembered the last few searches I was looking for at home... from my laptop. (Photos of the lunar surface, since you ask)

Is this a problem for me? No. On the trade-off between privacy and convenience, the latter wins. Hands down. Being overly obsessed about privacy - deleting cookies, switching off the GPS function from the smartphone - is the top of slippery slope that leads to conspiracy theories about a World Government implanting chips into humans from their black helicopters. And reptilian Illuminati ruling the world from their underground bases in the hollow earth.

Of all corporations listed on any stock exchange around the world, Google has changed my life in the most positive way, and I salute them for it. (Should have bought Google shares when they went public!)

This this last year:
The messy joys of pomegranate eating

This time three years ago:
Yuletide break

This time five years ago:
Washing the snow away (temperature rises by 14C in 12 hours)

1 comment:

Marcin said...

"The more information you give Google, the more helpful it becomes."

The more information you give Google, the more happy it becomes. :)

Wish you and your family all the very best for the Merry Christmas and the New Year.