Tech giants are a huge problem in America and around the world now. The problem isn’t necessarily that these tech giants are big (though there are arguments for that being a problem). It’s other issues.
One of problems with these large tech companies is that they, in many ways, control the information that people receive and, therefore, influence people’s decisions. We see the impact of this on people’s buying patterns, and may people allege that we saw the impact of that in this past election.
Another big problem with tech giants, though, is that they aren’t being honest with users and are, basically, treating their users like the NSA treats Americans: as their personal property to lie to, to use, and to control.
For example, you would think that, when you update a setting on your phone, the update would do what it’s supposed to do, right? Well, no. At least, not if you’re talking about a Google Android phone and whether your location is being tracked. Jack Phillips writes,
In the latest update of a lawsuit against Google, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich alleged that the tech giant has continued to collect location data even after users turn off tracking on their smartphones and other devices, citing concerns from Google employees about the company’s data-collection practices.
According to documents that were submitted in court by Brnovich’s office last week, emails that were sent among Google engineers voiced concerns about the company’s location data collection efforts after an Associated Press report was released in 2018. The engineers suggested that they believed the AP article was correct.
“So there is no way to give a third party app your location and not Google? This doesn’t sound like something we would want on the front page of the [New York Times],” one employee allegedly stated in a newly unredacted section […]. “I agree with the article. Location off should mean location off, not except for this case or that case,” another Google employee stated.
One employee, according to the documents, stated that “real people” who use Google’s products “just think in terms of ‘location is on’, ‘location is off’ because that is exactly what you have on the front screen of your phone.”
Brnovich, a Republican, told Fox News that the documents suggest Google knew that it was collecting users’ information and would upset customers.
They thought this would upset customers? Yes, it upsets customers! I’m livid! It’s none of Google’s business where I am at any given time even if I’m using their products. They don’t need to know, and you have to ask why it’s even important for them to know. If you’re going to tell me it’s so that they can advertise to you for businesses near you, I would say that if I’ve turned off the location setting on my Android phone, then that should still turn that off. They don’t need to know where I am, especially if I tell them “no.”
This is the kind of abuse of power that you (sadly) expect from totalitarian governments like China or Soviet-era Russia, but now we’re seeing it in America from big tech companies. This flagrant abuse of users’ trust should get Google penalized in a huge way, and this abuse and lying to customers has to stop.