Should We Fear The Total Google World?

Fri, May 9, 2008

General Nonsense, Web 2.0

Every single Google service is brilliant and very useful, but when they connect you get a very powerful system, that could be too much good. Should we start to watch out?

The other day our son turned 7 months and it probably won’t be long until I have to help him set up his first Gmail account - it’s a father-son thing.

It won’t take long to set up the account, a few basic information about the kid and he is ready to roll.

In time more stuff will be added to his profile.

With tears in my eyes I will proudly say to him: Welcome to Google, son, from now on, most of what you’ll be doing on the computer, will be registered by one company.

It will be like his baptism - He’ll be a part of a huge and abstract universe, with some kind of obligations, I’m just not sure which.

While filling out the online Gmail form it’ll strike me, is this the right thing to do. Isn’t there an alternative instead of making his life public to the search engine?

But it’s so easy. It works, you get a lot of really clever and free services - and you just need to log in once and one place.

One thing is, that Google is already his start page and key to the internet and it searches your email and blog.

Google also remembers which video my son will watch on YouTube, which he’ll probably watch more than television.

This is probably just the beginning.

It won’t take long before my entire family will be equipped with cell phones embedded with GPS chips, so I can see on Google Earth or Ocean where they are.

The next step will probably be Google Health, where, like Microsoft’s “health vault”, all the data about our health will be collected. Everything from the doctor and hospital’s journals to the daily rating from the bathroom scale and data from my jogging watch.

It can even be more detailed, if you chose to get your DNA decoded by companies such as 23andme.

One of 23andme’s directors is married to Google-founder Sergey Brin and Google is one of the major investors in the company.

They will decode your DNA for $1000.

It isn’t unrealistic that DNA analysis will be the standard tool for doctors, like X-rays and blood samples are today.

But it will require a lot of computer power to store and manage all that data, and computer power is what Google have.

Everybody expects that Google will be one of the select few, who will offer “cloud computing”, where you can buy capacity of Google’s huge computer farms.

Soon you’ll buy computer power, just like you buy electricity today.

All we need is a 3D online-universe, that combines fictional and user-created environments (like Second Life) with real geographical data from Google Earth.

It will be connected with our cell phones, so that you can walk around in the physical world, while having a close encounter with a parallel and virtual universe, that combines real buildings and persons with avatars and 3D models.

Each one of Google’s services are really useful, but when you connect them you get a system, that is both powerful and extensive, but is it too much to be good?

As Google says: “Do no evil”. I think it’s important that we help Google maintain that motto.

Do you think Google can get too powerful?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


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This post was written by:

Dennis Bjørn Petersen - who has written 396 posts on The Beta News.

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