Originally Posted by droideggs
how can you trust any person, company, or group for that matter?
you have to use your own judgement.
Personally, I haven't had any negative effects from using Google products, its only improved my productivity.
At the same time, this should be a given: Don't trust any publicly traded company whose sole purpose is to increase profits on a quarterly basis.
Trust isn't really the issue. Obviously any corporation could possibly misuse your information, if only at the mildly irritating level of selling your email address and phone number to telemarketers.
The issue is the amount
of information Google has, or potentially has, on their customers, and the fact that Google's business model is to sell that information to the highest bidder. That's all they do. Banks, retail operations, the DMV, insurance companies, the library, your doctor, local governments, licensing agencies, the Social Security Administration, internet sites, etc-- they all collect and share info, to a degree. But Google conceivably has a hand in all of those and more, and definitely wants to have a hand in as many other forms of commerce or information as is possible-- because by being privy to ever more of you life they make more money
Now, it's easy to say "no problems here, as far as I know Google hasn't provided my info to anyone that means me harm and I don't think there are any scenarios where access to that information would be particularly damaging to me" but in fact you don't know that. You have no idea. And you have no idea what Google might evolve into while still having all your data.
I don't have to imagine that Google is "evil" to be leery of the sheer concentration of power. If my credit card gets stolen I may be on the hook for some monetary damages. If Google gets hacked, or decides the new normal is to sell all of my information to whomever
is willing to pay, I'm utterly fucked.
Some people might not mind having their, for instance, power, water, garbage service, internet, cable TV, phone, banking and medical records all handled by the same company. They might find it convenient, and feel the services are first rate. Myself, I see that as a recipe for disaster, since it require only a single point of failure to destroy my life.