I was surprised to see that Google Maps wanted access to my "personal information." "New: Read your contacts. Allows the app to read data about your contacts stored on your phone, including the frequency with which you've called, emailed, or communicated in other ways with specific individuals. This permission allows apps to save your contact data, and malicious apps may share contact data without your knowledge." A map application wants to know how often I phone or email somebody? Why? So it can preload their addresses as maps for my convenience? Really?
Now this new change has spread to Twitter, Dropbox, and Hangouts. It's all in the name, I'm sure, of Big Data. Gee, who are the people at the Internet nexuses?
So I've been skipping these updates, because this change doesn't seem to have any other purpose than to spy on me and my friends.
"When the service is free, YOU are the product."
Then I got a letter from Google and GfK (a marketing firm) offering to pay me in exchange for putting in a high speed router to monitor my web traffic. They claim, of course, that "all of the information gathered from your household is strictly confidential in accordance ith GfK's policy (details available at www.screenwisepanel.com)." And the more devices I attach to this router, which they will install in my home, the more money they'll pay me. I suppose it's refreshing that a company both tells me they're spying on me, and pays me for the privilege. Now, mostly, they don't do either.