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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

The Google Trap

If you are not really into technology, you probably do not care that a company called Nest has been purchased by Google. I had been on the verge of installing a Nest thermostat in my house. Last week I determined it was compatible with my existing system and off to Lowe’s I intended to go.

But I do not think I will now. I, like many, have become more and more concerned about Google and its disregard for my privacy. But what is more striking is how difficult Google can be in the labyrinthine bureaucracy of a massive corporation.

I have a Google Plus account. In fact, if you want to do anything relating to Google these days other than search, you kind of need a Google Plus account. I have one. I am on television, I have a widely listened to radio show, I’ve guest hosted for Rush Limbaugh, I’m a former elected official, and I run one of the most influential conservative sites on the internet.

When Google Plus was coming along, it was natural to get an account. I was an early adopter. But I largely stopped using it as it looked like a Facebook account, but less useful. Over time though, Google tied more and more in to its Google Plus accounts. It became useful to have a Google Plus account. Then one day my account got suspended.

The suspension was because Google decided my account was impersonating . . . well . . . me.

I noticed one day I couldn’t tag something on RedState with Google Plus. I went into the account and discovered the red bar across the top of the screen that proclaimed:

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 12.24.18 PM

It originally had a link where I could fill out a form to get my account unsuspended. One of the things it wanted was information about other accounts. So I put in my RedState email address along with my gmail address.

Somehow or another using my RedState email ran afoul of proving that I was me. So my account still sits suspended. It is not worth my time to try to unsuspend it. I have no idea what other steps should be taken and have no reason to waste my time.

But one day, when Nest decides it’d like access to my Google Plus account to let me remotely control my house, I’m screwed.

So I’ll pass now. Conservatives like to say a government big enough to give you everything is big enough to take it all away. We’ve all seen Google, more and more, giving and taking on the change of terms of service agreements we have no choice but to accept.

I’ll stick with Apple. They may not give me everything Google provides, but at least I don’t have to prove I am me.

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