Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Follow Up: Facebook Blasts Google for Intrusive Personalized Mapping System

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Representatives from Google condemned Facebook for “invasive product deployment methodologies” and violations of user privacy after yesterday’s story about Facebook’s new feature. Facebook confessed on Monday to activating a service called the Status Personalization and Information Edification System (SPIES), in which roaming human “Updaters” are assigned to users and then follow them throughout the day, monitoring and photographing their goings on. Updaters then automatically reflect each user’s activities by posting onto his or her wall from a universal access portal.

“This is a historic low for Facebook,” a Google spokesperson said on Tuesday. “Not only are these Updaters given unlimited access to users’ data, we suspect that they’re reporting back to Facebook’s advertisers and marketing affiliates. It’s the most odious perversion of the Internet we’ve seen.”

Facebook fired back by blasting Google for its personalized mapping enhancement, currently in the early stages of testing.

Google May Face Uphill Battle Over Intrusive Mapping System
According to Google, the enhanced map feature provides users with greater flexibility in customizing their Google Maps. Like Facebook’s SPIES, Google’s Personalized Omniscient Viewer (POV) works by having Google’s Street View vehicles follow and film Gmail users around town.

“Unlike SPIES, our POV system will not release your personal comings and goings to marketers,” a Google representative clarified. “By tracking people with our camera-equipped cars, we provide users with a customized Street View map, full of interesting details. The information also feeds directly into their searches, filtering the most relevant results. We can mine precise details to create algorithms that not only understand our users’ most commonly traveled routes but also suggest places they should visit, such as new restaurants, shops, attractions, museums and theaters -- as long as those venues belong to the Google affiliates program. For example, if I regularly pass a movie theater during the week, and at similar times of the day, POV might suggest showtimes. If I’m not home and my friends want to know where I could be, they can log on to the shared map and check my last known location at that time, with an image of me standing in front of a particular spot.”

But Hoyt Barstock, one of Google’s first “beta subjects,” called the system dangerous, inaccurate and frightening.

“I suppose it would be nice if Google told you it was going to start tailing you with its weird cars beforehand,” Barstock said. “Yeah, it does all the things they say, but at what cost?”

Barstock attacked Google for the “nightmare” he was forced to endure as a POV target, and said the company has made no efforts to rectify the problems it brought into his life.

Devoted Single Father or Registered Sex Offender -- Google POV Can't Tell
“So, I’m walking my little girl to school when this two-door compact with a camera tower on its roof starts following me,” Barstock said. “Everywhere we go, the Google clown car stops and takes pictures. Totally creeped me out. My daughter Reba says, ‘Daddy, did we do something wrong? Is that the government?’ And I say, ‘No, baby, that’s Google. They know more about a body than the government. Could be worse.’”

Barstock, who admits to living in an economically depressed neighborhood, explained that he and his daughter must pass an adult bookstore before they reach Reba’s elementary school.

“So, we hurry past that porno shop and get to the school gates. That’s when the Google car turns around and drives off. Afterward, I didn’t think too much about it. That is, until I got home and jumped on the computer.”

According to Barstock, when he attempted to obtain driving directions to his daughter’s gymnastics competition using Google Maps, his default home location had become the adult bookstore.

“Even worse,” Barstock continued, “there’s this huge picture of me standing in front of it with Reba. ‘Bout an hour later, my ex old lady sends me this nasty email demanding to know why I’m spending all my money at a titty bar instead of giving her more alimony. And I was like, what the hell are you talking about, woman? That’s when I learned Google had posted the porno shop on my Google Profile, my Google Maps and my Google Latitude. Then this stupid thing called Buzz invites everyone I’ve ever sent an email to to join me at The Rusty Bush Erotic Bookshoppe. Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ on a horse-drawn Fatboy with a tore up bitch seat!”

But Hoyt Barstock’s humiliation didn’t end there.

“The Google people are using The Rusty Bush as some sort of starting point for my search criteria too. When I try to find places on Google Maps, it keeps giving me directions to cat houses and massage parlors and strip clubs. I use Adsense on my Blog. But now, all the ads are for penis pills, inflatable sex dolls and Dustin Diamond movies. And take what happened this morning. I wanted to read about John Boehner telling that pervert Anthony Weiner to resign from Congress. But Google won’t pull up those results. Instead, it keeps pestering me with ‘Did you mean wieners and boners?’ I sell landscaping tools. Just guess what Google suggests when I try to find a deal on hoes or seed sacks. Re-goddamn-diculous is what it is.”

(c) 2011. All stories are works of satire and parody.

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