Get lost, Google.

OK Google.

That is what your phone and your Google browser soon will react to. Any time. I’m not even going to go into the details of how I strongly I oppose this from a privacy viewpoint – because at a point in the not so distant future, I will be surrounded by active microphones wherever I go, even if my personal telephone is not all ears.

I dislike the idea of starting a conversation – even if it is a rudimentary one – with the words “OK Google”. I feel that it is wrong on a number of counts.

  1. Who is this „Google“ you talk to? It’s a nebulous entity. Do they really want you to think that you’re addressing all of the company, with just one statement? Do they want you to feel that with just one command, the many thousands of employees are at your beck and call? Or is Google – the company – trying to do away with differentiation, different products and have just one identifier? Or is it supposed to be a virtual assistant, able to get at all data their systems have about your habits, your calendar, your friends and your interests,  that just happens to have the same name?
  2. Emotional connection. I feel that in part, using their brand here is supposed to forge an emotional connection between you and the company. To me, this is a kind of manipulation that I am not at all happy to see. They could use any other word „OK, Phone“, „OK, Search engine“ – anything. But no, it has to be Google, their name.

 

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