While a lot of controversy has surrounded Facebook and privacy, Google has lately made many wonder if they could still be trusted with our private, personal info as well.
Personally, I'm all in with Google and I don't see that changing unless/until something truly cataclysmic happens. Dieter told me to sell my soul and enjoy all the free, fantastic services and sell it I did. I've significantly curtailed what I share over Facebook in light of their privacy stumbles, yet I've continued to go full steam ahead with Google.
Still it's inarguable that the young, upstart, idealistic company many of us geeks new and loved has been changing as of late. It's almost like the hippie, carefree days of Larry and Sergei are slowly morphing into the conservative, corporate era of Schmidt right before our eyes.
Wi-Fi data retentions, DoubleClick, Verizon net-neutrality deals, Buzz's early privacy problems, the whole China fiasco, Android returning control to the carriers, and odd, almost allegorical comments from their CEO about changing names as we come of age to distance ourselves from the indiscretions of youth... they give pause.
It's also undeniable that, while Google was once an unassailable darling of the tech media, that's been slowly changing as well, especially in light of the above controversies.
iPhone and iPad owners typically use tons of Google services. Their maps and search and videos are built in. Their Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Contacts are only getting more popular and better on iPhone and iPad. In return Google knows what web pages we go to, what we search for and click on, who our friends and associates are, where we are, and what we're doing. Every time we use the internet in almost any way, Google tracks us, anonymizes and aggregates us, and uses our data to advertise to us.
When "don't be evil" seemed a much more heartfelt motto, most of us didn't seem to care. How about now?