Posts Tagged ‘google’
I’m uninstalling my Facebook for Android app today. Three main reasons:
- It continually tells me I have new messages I already read
- It is always running however often I use my app killer to shut the damn thing off
- It can see where I am, who I am calling, and read my text messages if it wants
I don’t have a problem with anonymised data being used to fund the free exchange of information online by helping marketers to target people efficiently and effectively. But many mobile apps can see and use too much of our personal information and communications as standard. So starting with Facebook I’m taking a stand on this…
Google said: ‘From the beginning, Android has had an industry-leading permissions system which informs consumers what data an app can access and requires users’ approval before installation.’
This ‘approval’ comeback completely misses the point… we want the app so we click yes, even if we don’t agree with or understand why it wants access to so much of our mobile data.
I’d suggest as a first step before the law catches up with this problematic area that the Apple App Store and Android Market include a ‘report unnecessary data collection’ button on every app in their collections so that potential users can report that although they want a certain application – they would like to protest at the level of information it has access to.
Some might argue that if we want free apps we need to pay the price by giving over everything about us to unaccountable corporations and institutions. I’d argue that if your business model depends on intruding upon people’s private lives to the extent of needing to know where they are all the time and who they are calling the world can do without your sociopathic stalker-esque enterprise. Seriously.
I’ve used Google Reader many times to create bundles of blogs for monitoring and outreach in line with topic interest areas. The beauty of it is once you have compiled a hard-hitting list of blog RSS feeds you can share them as a bundle with others on your team… without them even needing to know what RSS is. This also makes it particularly easy to hand over when moving on to the next project.
The tool is also very useful to integrate different bloggers’ material into sites from an editorial perspective – when I set up the Guardian Global Development blogosphere the display of external blogs was run via Google Reader. The highlighting of specific blogposts on the back-end was achieved via an editor or community co-ordinator simply starring posts from Reader’s blog-post view – again, making for a simple content management user experience.
So I thought it worth highlighting what Michael Tieso has done with his list of 160 independent travel bloggers – because it’s not often you see someone being as generous with their efforts identifying good blogs. He has used Google reader’s capacity to share blog bundles publicly – compiling a list of over 160 independent travel bloggers for anyone to subscribe to.
You can find the travel bloggers bundle and subscribe to it here (you will need a Google account to use reader). For those of you new to reader – doing this means all the latest posts from those travel bloggers will appear in your reader from now on. You will also be able to search within that specific bundle in your Google reader for items of interest. Michael Tieso can be found @artofbackpackin on Twitter.
Sea life picture from My Itchy Travel Feet
OK, I know it’s greedy. But I just can’t choose. Should I tell Google+ to personalise my web experience, or not?
You see, when it comes to ads, I’m fairly OK with that. I kinda like it that everywhere I go on the web now, nice shoes flash around in the corner somewhere. But content? Content? The truth is Google, I’m scared. Every time I go to hit the radio button Eli Pariser’s words on filter bubbles come back to haunt me.
But I can’t be in and out. I would love to know what’s inside the filter bubble Google would love to tailor for me. But I don’t want to miss out on the great wild web it cuts me out of. In or out. That’s the choice. Whatever happened to shake it all about?