Nilay Patel of The Verge asks an interesting question.
We have a search and web services giant that gets almost all of its revenues from targeted advertising. It is arguably the world’s largest private collector of online user data, which it uses to successfully target that advertising. It is continually on the lookout for more avenues to collect such data, not just online but also in the physical world. It is also looking for ways to show you more ads, and coming up with new ways to charge for those ads. It has shown repeatedly that it is not above shoving its products down users’ throats, whether they want to use them or not. And it has now acquired a company that makes devices that help you control the environment in your home.
Hmm. I wonder what all the fuss is about.
Of course, you can’t fault Google for ruthlessly implementing a sound business strategy. Google makes money when you’re connected to the internet – so it wants to be everywhere you are on the internet. It started with search, and moved to e-mail, maps, online storage, photos, social networking. When the internet came to mobile devices, Google came there with Android and the Open Handset Alliance (how open it is now is, of course, a different matter). Now with the coming internet of things, it knows it needs to be there too. Hence the move to cars with the recently launched Open Automotive Alliance. And now, the final frontier–your home.
As a consumer, though, I’m worried.