BlogsRSS

Tony Poulos

Google's 'missing link' revealed -- be afraid!

As featured in DisruptiveViews

If you had any doubts that Google was out to control every aspect of your modern technological life let me introduce to the missing link in its chain of data bondage. It’s called OnHub and it’s a home Wi-Fi router – but no ordinary one.

Google’s official blog builds the company story most enticingly.

“Ugh…not again. You get home at the end of the day, and sit down to stream a new movie or upload vacation photos — and your Wi-Fi slows to a crawl or just stops working. Instead of relaxing in front of the screen or sharing those photos with friends, you spend it unplugging and re-plugging cords, trying to decipher blinking lights, or contemplating a call to customer support.  While we count on Wi-Fi more than ever to be entertained, productive, and stay connected, we’re streaming and sharing in new ways our old routers were never built to handle.”

Yeah, yeah, we all know that stuff is annoying but more often than not it’s the connection to the outside world that is the problem. Why will this be any different?

Oh, here’s why –

“OnHub makes it simple to set up and manage your Wi-Fi, all from the Google On app, available on Android or iOS. The Google On app tells you how much bandwidth your devices are using, lets you run a network check, and if there’s an issue with your Wi-Fi, the app offers suggestions to help. And, instead of lost passwords and sticky notes, it even reveals your password with a single tap and lets you text or email it to friends.”

And it automatically updates with new features and the latest security upgrades, without interrupting your connection.

Let me translate for the uninitiated. This means Google has unfettered access to your home Wi-Fi router. Remember when Google had its knuckles rapped for eavesdropping on home Wi-Fi routers whilst patrolling neighborhoods for StreetView? Well, they’ve found a much better and legal way of finding out what you and your devices are up to.

The Nest thermostat acquisition and its subsequent ecosystem development was just the tip of the iceberg. A Wi-Fi router manages ALL the online devices in your home and with the potential explosion of IoT and wearable devices you can just imagine how much valuable data will be traversing your OnHub.

Of course, Google has not mentioned any of this in its blog post, concentrating more on the aesthetics of the device, its simplicity to set up and operate and its reliability. What it should have highlighted was that it fills a gap in the Google snooping arsenal that started with your internet searches on PCs, progressed to Android on mobile phones and other devices and Nest in the home – not to mention Google Glass.

Now there is no part of your existence that Google can’t track if it so desires, and with all that info comes the ability to profile all of us and make us better targets for marketers.

Isn’t that worth spending $199.99 on? I can see you all rushing to order online right now. Good luck to you. I hope you don’t mind if I don’t join you.