I have a few questions about googleapis.com and how to block privacy-endangering web software. I am a backend software developer and Debian user, but I have no real clue about today’s web software; so when what I write is a bit naive, please don’t hesitate to correct me.
The motivation for this is that if Google runs unwanted code in chromium (as is being discussed widely right now), I should better assume that it would run unwanted code in my browser and that using Google’s web software in any case supports excessive data collection and user tracking that I don’t want. I want to stop that.
Frankly, nobody seems to care anymore about privacy.
If you complain or want to retain your privacy rights, you are marginalized, cordoned off and denied access. Or people will say Google is not the only one doing this, blah, blah. Problem is Google is the worst, having gone so far in collecting data, the fight for privacy is all but over.
For the vast majority of users, scoring “free” technology is far more important than privacy. Google has proven this again and again with their business model.
“Cool” technology that is free?
Google is selling all that data they are collecting to private companies and possibly to certain governments.
Why would the government be interested in what people do online?
Nah, we must be nuts for thinking such things!
How to get rid of Google APIs
Short answer, you can’t.
Even on the Reddit website where the question was asked, the Reddit web designers have decided to use Google APIs.
But it is not just Reddit…
Almost every website uses Google APIs to host content.
It is so prevalent that it must not be an accident. Lots of smart people working at Google.
Google now sees all and is moving to expand Google Glass into contact lenses and wearable tech.
What is outrageous is that companies, that are in direct competition with Google or their business model, are willingly sharing subscriber information with Google.
Is your company relying on Google servers to deliver:
- code libraries
- web statistics
- mobile websites
- engagement tracking
- android devices
- voice and voicemail services
If you are using any of the above (you are), then you are sharing vital information with Google about your person, your business or your customers.
If you are a business and are selling out your customers like this, then who cares if you can get away with it…
Read a detailed example about a company sharing information with Google about their subscribers and their activities.
Here’s a question: What if, God forbid, Google servers are hacked or otherwise interrupted?
Where is that disaster plan?
On that day, much of the Internet and many websites will go dark.
Here is another question: What if Google wants to charge for using their servers at some point in the future?
Here is a hint, it will happen when there is no easy way for web developers to go back to self-hosted apps or content. It has already happened with mobile apps (think app store controls) and it is gradually happening with web apps and hosted content.
Do you actually know where this is headed?
Just what exactly is the logical conclusion to all of this?
What to do about Google APIs and the impacts to privacy?
Pretty pointless question at this point, because nobody seems to care.
The pull of cool or free technology is too great.
However as a web developer, you can take a stand in your little world of websites and network of websites.
It would require you taking extra steps to ban Google from the websites you develop and manage. This is not easy, because Google has their hooks into almost everything. Web templates which grant you “speed to market” are embedded with Google spyware. As is WordPress and most WordPress themes and frameworks.
Wait a minute…
Did we just slip up and type “Google spyware“?
Totally meant to type, “Google APIs“.
Sorry about that!
Back on message for what to do:
See the list above for the “helpful” services Google offers for “free”. Yes you will have to source real solutions and not rely on free solutions from Google, who gives with one hand and takes with the other.
Now do you think, privacy is dead??