With some astonishment I’ve been reading through the terms of service of the google wallet system, which is rumored to launch today.
The basic idea here is that google will have access to your full payment history, associated with your google account, so right next to your search history, and if you use gmail next to your emails as well. Already there are a lot of data protection agencies worried about the amount of data that google has at its disposal. Adding a log of all your transaction through the google wallet to your personal profile is a data miners wet-dream.
Before you decide to use this service please read the terms of service carefully and decide if the trade-off between convenience and privacy is worth it for you. Of course you could argue that any credit card company has access to your buying patterns as well, but they can’t correlate those with your search history. It is the combination of several datasets by one party that makes this undesirable.
According to this guardian article only 7% of the users read the terms of service:
For something as important and privacy sensitive as a wallet system I hope that that percentage is a little bit higher.
If you think that your privacy does not matter then please read:
The fact that today you can’t imagine how this information could be abused is no reason to assume that it will not be abused. I’m pretty sure that those people that entered search terms in to the AOL search box didn’t expect to see those associated with their real life identities either.