One of the first victims of my desire to regain control over my digital life is Google. Living without Google, possible?
Paradoxically, it is not the worst in terms of privacy since the company has put in place rather effective (albeit somewhat hidden) systems for managing its personal data.
No, Google’s real problem among the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) is the scope of the services it offers. It covers far too many aspects of my life to allow one company to possess all this data. As I said, I don’t use Facebook, Apple has little information about me about Amazon, it’s more complicated, I’ll have to look into it…
Beyond the control of our personal data, we will see that this knowledge can pose a problem, for me at least, in the quality of the services offered (“results bubble” for example).
We need to clean up!
Let’s start by listing the services I use
- The search engine: to all lords…
- Gmail: for years, even in the days of my iPhone
- Agenda: for a long time also
- Contacts: let’s not talk about it, Google keeps in memory contacts I don’t even remember..
- G Maps/Waze: use every day if not every other day, big challenge
- Drive : few documents
- Google docs and sheets: I use mainly sheets for online functions that do not exist in Excel
- Youtube: hard not to go through YouTube to find a video
- Translation: from time to time, especially on my phone
- Chrome: there has already been change, we will see why
- Chrome cast: ingenious, functional, practical… a point is necessary
- Android/Play store: it gets complicated!!
Google knows my searches, my contacts, my schedule, the places I search and where I travel, the videos I watch, read my emails, has some of my documents in the cloud… and I don’t talk about what it knows thanks to Android.
“If it’s free, you’re the product.”
This video explains the problem, no need to come back to it.
Living without Google?
Now to live without Google, should we take out the wallet? Yes, but not systematically. And then we will see that finding even paid services at Google level is not so obvious.
Finding solutions for me alone would have been relatively simple. But we have to think for the family too. No way I’m gonna find Geek’s obscure solution, or the missus and the missus will send me on roses.
The specifications are therefore getting heavier:
- The same level of service
- Easy to use
- Free or not too expensive
Eliminating Google completely seems impossible in the state. But limiting the information I offer him against his free services, yes.
So I’m starting a new series on this theme: “Living without Google”
First victim: the search engine