I have a Google account, of course. It’s easy to not rely on Google, but hard to do without entirely. I’m old enough to have had a Google account for years – I don’t remember how long, exactly, but probably since shortly after Gmail was launched or YouTube was acquired.
And I’m old enough to have heard years of warnings about Google’s data mining, backed up by years of observation.
So every four or five years, I create a new Google account and abandon the old one, because fuck the whole data mining undustry.1
I know it doesn’t do much good to keep switching accounts, but it’s one of the little things I can do to make surveillance more expensive. Sure, a couple of decades’ worth of my data still exists in the megacorp’s data silos, but anyone who wants to mine that data has to collate it from five different accounts first, which cuts into the profit margin of a hostile and nefarious industry.
And while it doesn’t do much good, it does more good than the effort it takes. Every four or five years, I have to re-purchase a few paid Android apps… but if I’ve used a $5 app for years, I don’t mind giving the devs another $5 to keep it updates. And I don’t subscribe to too many YouTube accounts, so the process of re-subscription is less a chore than a chance to clean out accounts I’ve lost interest in.
Gmail account switching would be more of a chore, if I used Gmail as my public email address… but I don’t.
And besides, four or five years was more than enough time to get tired of a couple of those old usernames.
- Here’s an overview of many of data mining’s negatives by big-data compnany Eclature, It leaves out a couple, though, like individually tailored pricing.
And, for obvious reasons, Eclature tries to minimize the issue: “Most of the negative effects of data mining operations are human-induced.”
Oh, goody, yet another way that real life resembles a cyberpunk dystopia; Quoth C.T. Phipps, ” In its raw essence, cyberpunk is a view of the world which means that technology will not make life better for humanity but only give the oppressor a different means of brutalizing the underclasses.”