Sure they seem friendly enough. Their simple interface, their colorful page. But think about this, GOOGLE KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU.
Don't misunderstand before you read this. I LOVE Google and all their convenient features. Radd's Basement was a snap to create with Blogger, a Google product. But hear me out here. When you are looking for anything on the internet, where do you go? Google. You type in a search and those searches are logged. They know your interests, they know what medical problems you have, they know what TV shows you watch, they know what celebrities you want to see naked... They even have small ads (Google AdSense) targeted to your searches. Getting the picture? There's more.
They know where you go (Google Maps), and EXACTLY where you are (Google Latitude), and where you've been. They even have satellite imagery of your house and a picture of your front door. They have all your bookmarks stored for you (Google Bookmarks) and even your web browsing history and personal information are stored on their servers (Google Account). Check your Google account, there's a link that says web history. I found that my web history was saved by default.
They're interested to hear what you have to say (Blogger), they know what appointments and birthdays are coming up, (Google Calendar), they have your credit card information (Google Toolbar w/ AutoFill) and most importantly they have the list of people you talk to and what you say to them stored for you (Gmail). Bear in mind, all this stuff is convenient and free. Everyone loves free stuff.
Now I'm not saying Google is evil. I don't know about that. But suppose, just SUPPOSE here... That all of that information got into the wrong hands somehow. Now having worked on Gaming FM with Duckhead, I saw the amount of security applied to the servers that store all of this information. First of all they're camoflauged in a building you'd never guess would be storing such things. Then once past the perimeter, you are subjected to practically airport level security. The areas that store the actual servers are protected by those little hand readers you only see in sci-fi movies. But let's say a person or group of people gets past all of that. They'd know everything about anyone they wanted to.
Now I'm sure if someone from Google read this they'd say the information is encrypted and secure and it can't be extracted and all that. Sure, maybe our information is safe with them. OR, maybe it's a conspiracy and Google is using it's friendly colorful manner to get you to trust them while they farm all the information in the universe and then destroy it like Brainiac. Maybe Google is Brainiac. Am I being too paranoid? Will Google one day change it's name to Skynet and become self-aware and create machines to kill us? Is that unreasonable? Will Google have us living in pods while our bodies supply it with power and we live in a mental realm called "The Matrix"? Maybe Morpheus will call me...
I will continue to use Google's features because they're convenient and free. So when the end of the world comes you can blame me. Or, maybe nothing will happen like Y2k or 2012. But it's something to think about true-believers... It's something to think about. Leave comments below if you like (Google account required).