Monday, June 27, 2016

Google is Watching YOU and all you do!

This month, at age 77, I acquired my very first kick-scooter. Granddaughter Michaela used my smartphone to take a series of photos as I rode past her, so I could post one to Facebook, which I did.

(THANKS for doing a really great job, Michaela!)

Well, a week later, Google informed me they had noticed a series of photos in my camera roll and, without asking, had assembled them into a .gif file "movie"! (Image at right.)


So, that is the story of how Google is looking at all my smartphone photos (and probably yours as well), analyzing them to find a closely timed series, and, unbidden, automatically creating a .gif file.


Don't get me wrong, I'm pleased to get this particular sequence. However, if Google is analyzing ALL my photos, and yours and those of all Google subscribers as well, isn't that some kind of massive violation of "privacy"?

Presumably, if we or anyone else has been "tagged" in any photo, they may recognize who happens to be in any photo, even if we inadvertently happen to be in the background of anyone's photo!

In addition to photos,  whenever we use our smartphones or tablets or laptops for any purpose, they know what website we viewed, what information we searched for, with whom we communicated, what we wrote, and when and where we were when we did so.

If they are similarly monitoring all other Google subscribers, they can easily figure out who we were with and when and where.

Many years ago, I concluded we had absolutely no "privacy" when it came to our use of networked computers, and I vowed never to type anything into a PC that I would not mind appearing on the front page of a newspaper or featured on TV. Indeed, I realized, whenever I used my credit card I was creating a computer record of when and where I was, and what I was doing. Whenever I use my RFID or barcode gate pass to enter a garage or other location, I create a computer record.

None of us who have cars, cellphones, credit cards, jobs, homes, or any modern electronic conveniences have any "privacy" anymore. We have got to get over it! (The only person who has any "privacy" is the neer-do-well who stole your car and credit card and is buying beer and gas on your account. :^)

Now, with computer-connected computers virtually everywhere; monitoring traffic, checking for shoplifters and thieves in stores; virtually nothing happens without being recorded, in color and surprisingly high definition.


Several years ago I was kayaking at Rainbow Springs State Park (FL) and my friend Warren got some great video of me using my water gun to douse our British friend Dee, and then Dee kayaking into a restricted swimming area.

I edited the video down to a minute and a quarter and posted it to my You Tube account.

Well, You Tube, apparently automatically, noticed the image was bobbing up and down and rolling from side to side (because Warren was in a bobbing and rolling kayak :^). So, they asked if I wanted them to stabilize the image, and they did!

Here it is inn amazingly stabilized form for your enjoyment and amazement.

Ira Glickstein