1. Uninstalled GTalk - only used it at my previous job anyway.
2. Cleared out my Gmail accounts - which took a while to get most of my website memberships switched to my new e-mail address. I'll do 30 days of auto-forwarding and then close them.
3. Changed default search engine.
Google used to be trustworthy when they were small, just a search engine. But now?
- Their Google search engine tracks everything. Every search you make the IP address and search string is recorded in their databases. If you are logged into Google while you search, it is adding that to the tracked information. They even tied that to your credit card and banking information through Google Checkout. With websites you search for and go to, it attaches a cookie to your browser. I just looked on Opera and every single website had a Google cookie attached to it.
- Their Google Chrome web browser installs a process in the background that tracks everything on your computer. It is the only application I have ever seen that will NOT give you an option of where to install it (ie C:\Program Files). It installs itself under YOUR user profile. Then it creates a process that runs at startup and that process tracks everything you do.
- Gmail is all in the cloud on their servers. By default Gmail is set to keep e-mail if you use an e-mail client to check e-mail through POP3. They don't want you removing e-mail off of their servers.
- Then you have the Android OS from Google to track cell phones. Google also has a GPS app.
- Their Google Maps went around taking pictures of streets and Google Earth has layouts of military bases.
- They are going around to major hospitals trying to take over as an IT resource, promising companies unlimited e-mail and storing company documents under Google Docs - all stored in the cloud. They are doing this to undermine Microsoft but why hospitals with patient information?
- Their Google Talk application tracks every chat session you have.
- The latest was Google Buzz - a social networking app built into Gmail. It allowed for people to publicly view your contact list. Google has continued with attempts by purchasing social networking app maker Slide. This happened just weeks after Google made an investment in social app leader Zynga.
- Google Wave was a project for Google that failed but it was yet another social networking application.
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines - including Google - do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities." - Eric Schmidt, CEO Google