So, what's wrong with Google making money from your information?
I'm going to let you in on a secret, something Google would love to know -- I'm a really hot guy. While my sexiness is debatable, what I mean by hot is, I tend to be sweaty. Because of this, I utilize central air conditioning to cool myself down. Apparently, this is extremely sensitive data, as the internet is in an uproar over Google's purchase of a company called Nest. The acquired company specializes in internet connected home devices, such as thermostats, and some people are scared that the search giant has crossed a line.
Yes, Google knowing how users use their thermostats is apparently the straw that broke the camel's back. While the company already has access to your emails, Google Maps data, and more, for some odd reason, this has become a rallying point. OK, so maybe the uproar is more than just thermostat data. I understand the fear of Google infiltrating your home. Guess what? You don't have to invite it in. In other words, no one is forcing you to buy an internet-connected thermostat. You can continue to work your thermostat manually, like a cave man. However, for people who want the convenience, perhaps their data is a fair trade. Nothing in life is free.
But is money and information really different? I propose that, for Google users, information is currency. It is what you pay to Google for access to free email, free video hosting, free navigation -- you get the point. In other words, you can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't expect free services like Google Maps, without Google making money from your data. Quite frankly, Google's purchase of Nest may end up resulting in cheaper home monitoring devices and improved software -- leading to even more money in consumer's pockets.
While many people do not like the idea of Google making money from their information, I say, why not? What's wrong with Google making money from it? When push comes to shove, given the opportunity to pay money or hand over thermostat data, I would dare to guess that very few people would part with their money.
Of course, there is potential for data misuse, but this is not unique to Google. Whenever you establish a relationship with a company, you should trust it. If you don't trust the company with your home data, you shouldn't trust it with anything else either. To use Gmail and YouTube while saying you don't trust Google with thermostat data is not only hypocritical, it is foolish. If Google's purchase of Nest bothers you, its time to move on entirely.
Overall, Google's potential home invasion has been greatly exaggerated. No one knows for sure what Google plans to do with collected Nest usage data; it is pure speculation. However, I feel confident that Larry Page doesn't care what rooms you spend your time in and really isn't bothered if you're at home or not.
Me? I can't wait for a low-cost home monitoring device, with a free service to boot. Google's knowledge that I'm a hot guy is a small price to pay.