Re: Care-o-meter: LOW <-----------------> HIGH
people have become more aware of how Google are abusing their ability to gather and profile data. I for one certainly do not want my emails read through, scanned, profiled and used to force advertising onto me/sold to the highest bidder/passed over to the NSA...
Google have been putting targetted adverts into Gmail for a lot longer than the past couple of years. Whatever your opinion of it, this has precious little to do with whether they have a search engine monopoly, whether they are abusing it, and whether anything should be done about it. They also don't pass your information on to advertisers. As someone who has set up Adwords campaigns, I have to say I have not been fed anybody's email data yet.
So until suitable competition can gain traction in the search market...
Bing, Yahoo, Duckduckgo, plenty out there. You want to set up your own web spider and database? Google cannot stop you.
it can be surmised that Google effectively own the internet (or most the useful bits at least).
Really, no. You can firewall the entire Google IP range, and the rest of the Internet just carries on working.
I can't choose to block sites that use Google analytics, for example.
Yes you can. Most sites that use Analytics will continue to work when you script-block the crap out of Ganalytics. The rest are just shitty sites.
I'm amazed that anyone is still cheering them on.
Not so much cheering them on, as much as countering some of the Microsoft-sponsored bullshit being spread around. Privacy arguments may or may not be valid, but this has nothing at all to do with their dominance in search. The privacy arguments should also be aimed at Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and any other business. Your data is worth money, and businesses are after money. It really is that simple.