Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I know where you live

I've been looking at the extraordinary detail of the location data Google keeps on me courtesy of the Android phone I have been running since my iPhone gave up the ghost.

You find your own personal Stasi file by logging on to your Google account and going to https://www.google.co.uk/maps/timeline.

Last Tuesday's timeline, for example, shows me going to work, picking up Ben from school in the afternoon and taking him to the dentist with complete details of routes.

That evening a few of us went to a quiz in the Sultan. On the way back I was persuaded to take an unconvincing "short cut." Notwithstanding the moral authority of Kevin, Frankie, Ollie and Andy, Google confirms I walked 0.5 miles to get the pub but 0.7 miles back after I left at thirty eight minutes past ten.

My route was best, but I am not sure how much of a consolation this is compared to the shock of what Google records of my meanderings.
Google: Merely an automatic system. Ancient computers ranged in the long caves deep in the bowels of the planet tick away the dark millennia. I think they take the occasional pot-shot to relieve the monotony. I am a great fan of science you know.
Myself: Good god! That’s a pretty unpleasant way to behave isn’t it?

Google: Is it? I’m sorry, I’m a bit out of touch. You must come with me, great things are afoot, you must come now or you will be late.

Myself: Late? What for?

Google: What is your name human?

Myself: Browne. Nick Browne.
Google: Late, as in, the late Brownenickbrowne. It’s a sort of threat you see. Never been very good at them myself, but I’m told they can be terrible effective.
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