The statement made by Bruno Rodriguez Parilla from Cuba, was indeed a bold one but that is nothing new from a country who change the rules when they see fit. They wanted to free the world from the dictatorships of Microsoft and Apple, was the statement. And soon after they released their own social media initiative: Red Social. The name Red Social is ironic but of course not a coincidence. And naturally, the state of Cuba, has full insight in whatever action made by the members of the community – meaning the entire community becomes a place of surveillance. It is not a place where people should nurture relations with open-minded discussions. Cuba shows they have changed little if any at all. Uzbekistan made the very same thing, they launched Youface with the exact same motive as Cuba’s version. Red Social can only be reached from inside the country and according to local journalists, the user even have to give away his/her private password to the state of Cuba. Well, at least Cuba are honest with what they are doing. They are monitoring you and they are a closed society, a dictatorship.
The Swedish society: Reportrar utan gränsar (journalists sans frontiers) has a list over those countries who are the greatest enemies of the freedom of speech on the internet .Cuba is one of them. Surprised? Probably not. 🙂 Read the list here: The enemies of internet free speech.
Meanwhile, the freedom of speech and your right to be anonymous at the internet is not a thing to take for granted. Did you know that Google has as business idea to collect the everlasting and evergrowing information of the world? And did you know that they are progressing quite well on doing that? Lately, a discussion has arised which is a worry for those who are interested and have insight in the topic – it is about to what extent you should share information with one single supplier – no matter how great their tools are.
Only in Sweden, Google Analytics, is with their 71% of market share, the main tool for analyzing user behavior among sites and services. And this is highly interesting if you put it into the perspective of the usage of Google Analytics in a broader sense.
Why? Because Google Analytics is huge. They have a massive reach and have access to user behavior onto a majority of today’s websites. And this data is more up-to-date. The discussion which has started is mostly about what would happen, would Google suddenly feel like putting their databases together and run user profiling on what sites they surf at. Did you know that if Google would feel like doing that, they would be able to point you out as an individual, see your surf behavior, which sites you visit, how often, when you do, how long you stay there, which things you click at. Etc.
And this dominance is not only in a few regions, their dominance is almost complete in various geographic locations.
And last, the figures could be seen in a domain name specific sense. Where does this bring us? Nowhere, I’d say. You could lift your hat to Google and congratulate them on bringing such an amazing tool which is the main choice for any digital expert and department who want to survey their users. At the end of the day, Google is a service provider and they have naturally answered to this debate and said that they would never want to merge their databases. We will have to trust them. Do we?
Finally it is interesting to know of, that Google is looking to launch the Tag Manager. This will provide Google with even more knowledge of your organizations, to such an extent they would be able to highly tailor services and solutions for your needs, automatically and in a second. Practical or scary? Those two are sometimes very close.
One could argue that Google would never want to piss their clients off, being a company they are always bound to serve their needs to continue making money and that is the main reason they mean business when they say they would never merge their databases. Then again, could they not offer better services by actually knowing us inside out? And where is the limit? Exactly how much are you allowed to know of us as clients with or without our consent, in order to make better services? And if they do offer better services, is that really enough, for exploiting our total internet consumer behavior.
Remember the debate started 20 years ago when the first shops like Walmart, Tesco among others, launched their loyalty client cards which you needed to use every time you made a purchase in their stores? The debate was angered back then because it was evident that the stores gathered information about you as a client and could tailor offers and campaigns to you as consumer, knowing your purchase history. That was your consumer behavior in one shop or chain of shops. Now, imagine one company called Google, being able to monitor your complete purchasing history, behavior, which shelves you went to but decided to go to other shelves and finally, if you came back to the store again, when and how long time you spent in there, etc, and this onto the majority of stores in the world. Only the digital ones you might argue. But remember that the consumers behavior and purchasing habits are rapidly turning to digital ones.
This debate is now at a complete different level.
Why do I mention Google as example? I do it ouf ot interest. You can not compare Google to Red Social or YouFace. It is just important to know that Red Social and Youface openly rips your identity away and intend to monitor you for the best of the state. Google as a company has the power to do that in a much stronger and powerful sense.
If knowledge is gold, Google is not only a gold mine. It is Eldorado.