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Goodbye Google

The answers to so much that you might want to know about the world is likely to come through a single private company, Google. Alongside Facebook and a handful of other players they control the global information economy, and are responsible for the information relied upon by a huge amount of the human race1.

Why Wave Goodby to Google?

Ethical Net list 8 good reasons to avoid Google. There was also a DeGoogling community on Reddit who listed even more until it got taken down. Fortunately I saved the page and have reproduced it here.

And put it this way (as Jaz did): “If the phone companies were recording the words we use in our conversations to sell our preferences to advertisers and make machine learning-driven inferences about us as humans, we’d lose our collective minds. But when Internet companies do it we’ve managed to create a world where that’s … normal … most people don’t like it but believe there’s no alternative.” But there are alternatives. See below.

How?

Good question! Google is everywhere. By taking it one bit at a time. Both of the links above have plenty of further reading as to how to stop using Google.

What Instead?

Here’s a starter list of Google services to which there are more than adequate alternatives:

Alternative Search Engines

My search engine of choice is DuckDuckGo. That’s because I find it gives me really good results as well as not storing any data on you. Ecosia are also a great option, planting trees with their ad revenue. Neither DuckDuckGo nor Ecosia sell your data to advertisers or have third party trackers, unlike most other search engines. Within the settings on DuckDuckGo you can switch of sponsored results to be completely ad-free.

Better Web Browsers

Google Chrome, as with Apple’s Safari and Microsoft’s Edge are all part of massive companies with various ethical issues. Firefox, from the non-profit Mozilla Foundation is completely open source. Other good options are Brave, Epic, Falkon, Firefox Focus (for mobile), LibreWolf, Tor and Vivaldi.

Gee, no Gmail

There are so many email providers out there that I cannot list them all. I personally use Mailbox.org with Thunderbird as my desktop email client and Canary as my tablet email client. For more options check out Ethical Net’s comprehensive list of Gmail alternatives.

Google Drive

I use Sync and Cryptpad. Ethical Net list more file sharing, office and team collaboration alternatives to Google.

Google Assistant

Home Assistant is an open source home automation that puts local control and privacy first. No more snooping on everything you say and do in order to sell things to you.

Other Maps

I use Open Street Map whenever I need a map now. It’s an open-source, user contributed mapping service and works pretty well. The more people who use and contribute to it the better it gets.

Youtube

If you want to host a video try Peertube. My own Peertube account is here. Ethical Net (who are great for tech alternatives in general) have some more options.

Google Hangouts

I love Whereby. I also like Jitsi. They both rank well under Ethical Consumer’s guide to ethical video conferencing software.

Google Translate

By using Google Translate you are permitting Google the rights to keep your text and share or publish it themselves. Instead try DeepL or Apertium. DeepL is a paid service which you can use for free with a limit of 3,000 characters, while Apertium is a free, open-source machine translation platform.

Google Calendar

If you sign up for a free 2GB account with The Good Cloud you can make use of the services provided by Nextcloud which includes calendars as well as many of the other services such as Drive, Docs etc.

Google Analytics

If you are a website owner it’s likely you use Google for website analytics. There are other platforms out there. I use Plausible, an open-source alternative.

References:
1. From iHuman

Alternatives to other unethical platforms

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