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Breaking the vow of non-Googleness

Imagine life without Google. It's pretty darn close to impossible.

Imagine life without Google. It’s pretty darn close to impossible.

Can you imagine a world without Google? I can’t.

I have a Droid phone as well as an iPhone. But everything tethers to my Google world — contacts, maps, videos, etc.

It wasn’t always this way, but internet marketers (including Google) have figured out that the key to making money off of content is via online profiling and highly targeted advertising. If you Google something or shop on Amazon, do you notice how your latest online shopping follows you to online news sites, your gmail, yahoo mail, etc? That’s how sophisticated online marketing has grown. (As I mentioned elsewhere, I too used to work in the online marketing/high tech world. We would hear concerns about privacy, but needed to tune them out to figure out how to get the most bang for our clients’ marketing/advertising dollars.)

Finnish security researcher and chief research officer Mikko Hypponen tried to vow a life of unGoogleness. After all, he understood his privacy was threatened every time he broke his vow. But, try as he might, he couldn’t.

Hypponen spoke at a WSJ technology conference, WSJDLive, openly confessed that the Internet has evolved into a privacy nightmare because of the users’ reliance on “free” services. (I will talk more about “free” and sex in an upcoming blog post.)

“I really tried getting rid of Google,” he said. “You can’t avoid Google. We are way beyond that.” True that.

Let me know if you’ve succeeded in upholding the vow of nonGoogleness. I’d love to know how you did it!

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