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Stop Calling Google 'Big Brother'

I mean I think I have reread George Orwell enough times to fully understand what he was getting at. Or is "big brother" just another construct we have hijacked and dummied down into an improperly used, casually tossed around catchphrase?

If you have ever met people who actually work at Google or any of the millions of likeminded souls who work in innovative tech and I would argue share the broad ideals Google embodies, you likely agree -- it's absurd to make the charge that Google is or even has an interest in being "big brother."

Makes a seemingly great headline, but it's idiotic.

Most folks I know in tech have a genuine drive to positively impact the world. They want to make people's lives better in whatever way they are best positioned to. In fact, sometimes when I consider the impact they say they want to have and/or think they have had, I feel like some egos have grown a bit too large. But it's all good because their intentions are good.

Cats who work at Google or Apple or Amazon or Starbucks or another equally-as-successful, household name technology company have no interest in amassing power to spy on you and somehow hurt you physically, emotionally, financially or otherwise. They simply want to make a difference in your life and in the world within the context of their ability to do so.

We're too damn lazy, collectively, as a society to read the privacy notices these companies send out. We just click agree and move on because we want what we want and we want it now. We want Google and Apple and Amazon and Starbucks to make our lives better. In fact, many of us wouldn't know what to do without their minute-by-minute presences.

Our laziness morphs into intellectual stupor.

We make serious accusations -- that Google wants to be or is about to become "big brother" without a) even considering how damn off base the accusation is and b) stopping to understand the culture that drives the people who work at these companies. They're not evil. They're not waiting for us to become complacent (because, newsflash, they actually don't have anything to wait for!). They mean no harm. And anybody who claims that they do is just trying to make something out of nothing.

But that's the world we roll in -- we hate tech even though we couldn't live without it. We hate that people in tech are rich and dynamic and successful. That's why we saw more outcry over a relatively small glitch with Yahoo! (YHOO) Mail and nary a comparative peep over what's going on at Target (TGT).

(And don't tell me you're worried that what happened at Target will happen at Google, Apple, Amazon or Starbucks because, if you were, you wouldn't be lazy and click "I agree" on every privacy notice and attendant disclaimer that comes across your screen).

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks. Rocco Pendola is a columnist for TheStreet. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
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