How to spoil a good thing

Those who know me better than just superficially can tell a story about my utter contempt for Google. For what they are, for what they do. To you, to me, to us as a society. It scares me how they try to cover up their extremely invasive behaviour as something beneficial to anyone but themselves and even more how they get away with it. The web of lies and misinformation they have spun around the internet has become so intrusive and unavoidable that one has to put a lot of effort to ease the stranglehold at least a bit. Just sometimes you cannot.

While it is true that Google has employed some of the smartest people in the field of technology it is also true that they use their abilities mostly to think of ways how to get better hold of your information. For the sake of selling this information on or to manipulate you more efficiently (i.e. 'to offer you personalized advertising'). They have made themselves the gatekeepers of the internet to an overwhelming majority of the people in the Western world and every attempt by the legislative to reign them in has been thwarted so far.

One of their most successful attempts to prevent you from blocking them completely is the use of their reCaptcha service. It is offered 'for free' to any service provider on the internet. While one can argue about the necessity of captcha-checks in general (hint: I think there really is no need for them), there is something a lot more sinister about this offering: Imagine trying to block all of Google's IP adresses. Something that is easily achievable with a firewall. For Google that of course would be a inacceptable as they need to follow your every step to successfully profile you. Well, the smart (but evil) people of the biggest advertisement company in the world thought of something very clever; they made it so that you need them not only to access their 'services', but also to reach websites that stand in no relationship with either them or you. In other words; they claim the right to snoop through your underwear even if you wish for them to stay out of your life.

I myself made my peace with not being able to reach certain services due to their usage of reCaptcha, but in some cases it really hurts. One of these cases is Mubi. Which in my eyes might be called the best streaming service on the internet. I really would love to throw my money at them, just for the brilliant concept behind their service: one new film every day in a 30 day long rota. All films handpicked and of excellent quality. But guess what; to log into their website you need to get past Google's recaptcha. So every time I would want to watch a film on Mubi I had to turn off my firewall for Google, let them register that I log into my Mubi account and allow them to monitor what I watch for how long I watch it. Their scriptlet is on every single page of Mubi's website.

I wrote an email to the Mubi support team if they were considering to offer a service free of Google and hence of surveillance. They replied a week or so later, with the expected result that this was not planned. A real shame. And yet another case where Google has spoiled a good thing.