Over the years it became more and more clear to me that Google had redefined themselves as a company based on the surveillance economy. That was not true when I joined in 2005, but gradually became true as they tried to compete against Facebook in advertising. Advertisers covet demographic information, so they don’t show a BMW ad to a poor person and they don’t show an incontinence ad to a young person. Unfortunately Google has turned into a pathetic persistent privacy invader as a result. If you go to google.com when you are not signed in, you see this notice:
Of course, if you click on the “START CHECKUP” button, it presents you with a notice to sign in:
This is of course oxymoronic – why the hell would you sign in to give them a cryptographically certified trail of your identity if you care about privacy? Their whole business model is based on assembling a detailed dossier connected to your login. Signing in is exactly the opposite of what you should do if you care at all about privacy.
This is one reason why I decided to forego working on cryptography during my years at Google – the primary purpose for cryptography at Google is to secure their business model based on surveillance.