"Google Can't Buy Our Trust"

Wired's Dan Hon examines Google's Aquisition of Nest, and he's doing a nice job of reading between the lines so far:

But when you probe deeper, you realize they’re actually getting much more. Jokes aside (like needing a Google+ account to change the temperature in your house or getting ads for fire extinguishers while your house burns down), there’s something subtly different happening here. This isn’t just another corporate giant acquiring a well-loved startup and its users.

It’s not just an acquisition — it’s an annexation. The kind that involves planting a flag. Because now we’re talking physical territory, which is the case as the internet inexorably and increasingly reaches into the real world. Simply put: People invited Nest into their houses. Not Google.

This is key to why the deal just doesn't quite feel right. Because of it's software-driven nature, The Nest is a living, evolving product. This means that not only is your Nest data now owned by Google, but also that future software updates will introduce Google (and their questionable motives) deeper into the home of Nest users- many of which won't notice or care, but to some people this matters. For those people, a product they likely love is now a product they may resent.

Still, we need to examine why Google gaining a foothold into our houses with home automation devices feels creepier than, say, Xfinity providing us with home security. Do we actually trust a cable provider more than we trust Google here — if so, how can that be? I think it’s because Google’s stated mission of organizing the world’s information is in danger of becoming significantly more creepy. Because there will always be more information to organize. It turns out that “all the information in the world” includes not only streetviews of houses but might even include our heating patterns or when we’re away from home.

Google is not only diversifying the ways in which they deliver ads to the masses (which is how they've made their fortune, after all)- they are now buying new, more intimate means to learning everything about us.

The paradigm of the our lives on the internet is that Google simply does not even have to ask us for our trust in order to gain the access into our lives that they've worked hard to create. Users enter into this abusive relationship blindly, because the idea of a Google being trustworthy is simply presumed.

Google doesn't have to "buy" our trust, because seemingly nobody is bothering to question whether such a company is trustworthy to begin with, or whether they are already constantly betraying it.