My thoughts on Google’s upcoming privacy and terms of service changes, the consolidation of user data profiles, and what it means for our digital selves in The Atlantic.
To me, the result of this consolidation that gives me cause for concern is the fundamental integration of my entire digital life. When you start pulling together email data with browser data, that really begins to paint a near-complete picture of a life lived on the internet. It’s not just search terms, not just circles of friends. It’s every last digital scrap of me. As we’ve moved to cloud-based services, browsers have become the first and perhaps the only application we need to open to get things done on our computers or our phones. I’ve come to terms with the fact that the convenience of internet-enabled life involves a data trail, but now Google is demanding free reign (March 1 going forward) to piece those data trails together with all the other bits of information it has collected about us.