Google Buzz Privacy Fears Overstated
The following article is a guest post by freelance writer Laurie Stark. You can learn more about her at her site.
Why You Need to Get Over Your Aversion to Google Buzz
Approximately 30% of the updates in my new Google Buzz account are pithy snarks from people claiming they will never use it. I was shocked by this. And then I realized I shouldn't be.
What Google is doing is revolutionary. Here's what Buzz is changing about the world (or, more specifically, reflecting in a world that has already changed):
It's changing our antiquated ideas about privacy.
Some of us still think that if we have a blog, Twitter, or Flickr account, and don't market it to the masses, that only our friends will see it. This is untrue, and it's becoming less true all the time.
Everyone from your ex-boyfriend to your great-grandma is becoming more savvy with Google alerts, backlink monitors, and IP stat counters. Facial recognition technology means that someday soon people will be able to search the internet for photos of you, of your brand logo, and of their copyrighted image that you stole.
It shouldn't be a secret that what you do on the internet is not a secret. Google Buzz illuminates this by auto-following your top contacts (you can manually unfollow) and connecting all your social media accounts in one place.
The cautionary tale of a prospective boss finding booze-y photos of you on Facebook is practically a ghost story we tell around a campfire. This image of the stodgy boss, ruling with an iron fist and a three-piece suit, is already a relic. The modern truth is that your boss probably has booze-y Facebook photos, too.
The scare factor of this story masks a larger shift in our society: one from private to public. You can hate it, you can fight it, and you can complain about it on your blog (which your boss reads, btw), but know that your dissenting voice is part of a larger historical chorus that has decried every major shift our society has seen (including such cultural crises as electricity, telephones, and the invention of Autotune).Continued on the next page