This morning, I saw this in my Facebook feed. It was written/quoted by a friend who happens to be a very smart guy, and is a business editor at a large newspaper:

Here’s a simple, important process: Remove your Web browsing history from Google before it implements the new privacy policy and the company starts using your old searches in nefarious ways. 
How to Remove Your Google Search History Before Google’s New Privacy Policy Takes Effect  www.eff.org
On March 1st, Google will implement its new, unified privacy policy, which will affect data Google has collected on you prior to March 1st as well as data it collects on you in the future. Until now, your Google Web History (your Google searches and sites visited) was cordoned off from Google’s other …

I like what The EFF claims as their mission, by the way, despite the fact that this, like their involvement in the Carpathia/MegaUpload debacle, won’t really amount to anything useful.

So now, I’ll repeat here what I said in response to my friend on everyone’s favorite/least favorite social network: I’m sorry, but this is just hysteria.

A) Privacy settings in your Google account are too complicated to expect people to manage, and B) The Big G is gonna know as much as they want to know regardless of what steps people think they’re taking to head that off.

Kinda the same issue as this: Computers Are Too Hard To Use.

I came across another story yesterday that also goes to the “computers are too hard to use” point. Over at Lifehacker, they posted an article that purports to teach you how to keep information you’d prefer not to see out of your Internet experience. Go read it, and tell me: do you have any idea at all how to do the things they’re explaining? And even if you do, will you take the time to actually do them?

I’m going to resist the urge to turn this into a commercial for our computer support services; computers are too hard, privacy is nearly impossible to put in place in any meaningful way, we can help, blah, blah, blah. But I am going to point you at a few things I’ve written about privacy, and ask you to take another look:

Are we talking privacy? Computers and Technology? The merge point of the two—where one is impossible to maintain and the other feels impossible to keep up with?

Yes.

In business—and especially in an environment where we’re managing constant business change—sometimes the best strategy is not to worry about things we can’t really expect to control. Or to just hire someone else to handle matters—or attempt to—as best as is reasonably possible.

Now go mess with your Google privacy settings. And . . . good luck with that.

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