The Circle joins Gary Shteyngart's hilarious Super Sad True Love Story in its prediction of the kind of world we might get to live in if we continue to outsource our data and decisions about it to Silicon Valley's technocrats.
Whether you like it or not (weak pun intended), every click you make online, every purchase, every article you read, says something about you. And with the rise of targeted advertising, that information is increasingly convertible into dollars.
The fact that these new concessions will not please Google's rivals says nothing about the remedies themselves. Rather, it will speak to these competitors' motives to keep this investigation running for as long as possible. Almunia should resist calls to try this approach once again.
Now, seven years later, in a day where a large number of Americans check-in online at every location, upload a photo most every meal they consume, and update their statuses for their every thought, I'm exceedingly confident nothing is off-limits.
Dictators, mired in more technologically primitive societies, didn't develop the fearsome new implements of control of the National Security State. Google and other leaders in this field of massively mined and shared information did.
The stonewalling of regulators by Google on exactly how that new integrated profiling of users on behalf of advertisers would work finally pushed European regulators to take legal action after hoping over the last year to negotiate a voluntary deal with the company.
We have been conditioned to accept privacy abuses as the price of using the Internet. These abuses generally involve having our search engine send us "better" ads, which most of us believe cannot be too dangerous.
A key reason schools are signing up for Google Apps for Education is that Google claims to provide these services at no cost. But these services are not entirely free. Did you know that schools may be "paying" for these services with your kid's privacy?
While the Internet and technology has become an extraordinary medium for commercial -- and personal publication, and we embrace it with abandon at times to satisfy our varying degrees of narcissism -- we really don't like it when we lose control of what we think is ours and ours alone.