Live from the Googleplex

At least once a day, someone wanders forlornly through Quora asking how he can keep Google from spying on him. Now and then, I am sufficiently moved to report “You can’t.” And this is why you can’t:

Gizmodo’s Kashmir Hill took on a “monumental challenge,” according to the latest from Forbes, of not merely giving up Google’s many services, but actively blocking all communication with every single one of Google’s services on all her devices.

In other words, Hill didn’t just stop using Google Search, YouTube, Gmail, Waze, etc., she got “the help of a Motorola engineer who designed a custom VPN (virtual private network) that restricted all of her devices — laptops, phones, smart speakers, everything — from talking to Google servers.”

The result? It pretty much broke her access to the internet.

Within a matter of hours, non-Google applications she was using phoned home to the Googleplex fifteen thousand times. And you think you can do better? See you on that uncharted desert isle.

2 comments »

  1. McGehee »

    13 July 2019 · 2:52 pm

    Algorithms collect information which is sent to algorithms to be parsed and indexed and sent to algorithms that sift it for general keywords, which are then sent to algorithms that further sift it for more specific keywords, which are reported to algorithms that analyze the contexts in which the keywords, then this is sent to algorithms that parse the contexts, which all then gets sent to a final algorithm that tries to remember why Google wanted all this information in the first place.

  2. fillyjonk »

    13 July 2019 · 3:57 pm

    Back in the late 80s I knew someone who refused to have a credit card because he was concerned about the banks having “information” on him. I don’t know whether he actually had a bank account or not, I kind of think not, that he did everything on a cash basis.

    I often wonder, if he’s still alive now, how he navigates the world we’re in.

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