Having become the world’s most powerful company, Google wants to take control of the key industries of the 21st century: the good reasons to fear the Mountain View firm.
In San Francisco, the Google Buses have become internal enemies. These cars reserved for Google employees are seen with their tires slashed, their ways blocked; a protester even threw up on them! They symbolize Google’s grip on the region, the rents that have exploded, the absence of sharing.
In 15 years, Google has become the most powerful company in the world, and little by little, it is taking control of the key industries of the 21st century. Here are the good reasons to fear the Mountain View company, from the most grave to the most anecdotal (unless it is the other way around?)
Google Thinks It’s God
Google is trying to create a superhuman. It has pre-empted three key markets: the fight against death (with its subsidiary, Calico, which hopes to grow life expectancy by 20 years between now and 2035); DNA sequencing; and robotics, for which it has bought the eight most powerful companies. The “Google Car” already rolls alone on the roads of California. Ray Kurzweil, the pope of transhumanism, had rejoined the company as its director of development (each day, this guru absorbs “a few thousand dollars” in capsules that assure his longevity).
And Larry Page, Google cofounder, actively supports transhumanism, by sponsoring Singularity University, without wondering if, ethically, it is acceptable to modify an individual’s capacities. And what about pirating or neurohacking brains once they have become connected computers?
Google Wants to Think in Your Place
You wake up, you look at your smartphone, you ask it, “Do I have to get up?” It replies, “No, stay in bed for 15 more minutes; there are no traffic jams on your way this morning.” In the evening, it reminds you of the pizza you have to buy. And if you lose your keys, it finds them. The search engine will very soon be able to “tell Internet users what they have to do and when, without their having to go online” — as if it were reading your thoughts.
Google Transforms Its Clients into Products
A maxim of the high-tech world claims, “if the product is free, you are the product.” As a matter of fact, Google has used its search engine to collect millions of pieces of data on each of us, and uses them shamelessly (Eric Schmidt, the other cofounder, spoke these unforgettable words: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." He thinks only criminals want to protect their personal information.) Certain pieces of data are already resold – we notice them every day – others are “repackaged” and exploited later.
Google Is Recreating Phalansteries
Google employees work on a campus of privileged people. Already today, they use their own banks, hairdressers, dry cleaners, bike repair stores, and live during the day, in a closed circuit. Soon, they will live on site, in a futuristic city created for them.
Google Thinks It’s above the Law
Margrethe Vestager, European competition commissioner, has rung the bell to end recess: She wants to demonstrate that Google is guilty of abusing its dominant position. Among other anomalies, the search engine has put its own price comparison service in the lead, hurting its competition. It “kills” all the sectors it attacks.
Google Doesn’t Want to Pay Taxes
Like Facebook, Google optimizes its taxes through sophisticated setups. It’s unfair and unethical. The United States seems incapable of bringing it back into line, as though it were more powerful than the government. What would happen if everyone behaved like Google?
The world of technology ages at an accelerated rate. In 35 years, the supremacy of the “dinosaur” IBM declined to the benefit of the agile Microsoft, then that of the “dinosaur” Microsoft to the benefit of the agile Google. The wheel, then, has been turning. But who will stop Google, which aims to be omniscient, omnipotent and universal all at once?