Google’s New Insidious Mobile Web Software

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Accelerated Mobile Pages

Google’s newest project, the Accelerated Mobile Page, has just come out. Google claims they are filling a gap for web browsers and teach companies on mobile platforms to provide a better browsing experience: less advertising, faster loading times, etc.

“What is the Accelerated Mobile Pages project?
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (“AMP”) Project is an open source initiative that came out of discussions between publishers and technology companies about the need to improve the entire mobile content ecosystem for everyone — publishers, consumer platforms, creators, and users.
Today, the expectation is that content should load super fast and be easy to explore. The reality is that content can take several seconds to load, or, because the user abandons the slow page, never fully loads at all. Accelerated Mobile Pages are web pages designed to load near instantaneously — they are a step towards a better mobile web for all.”

Convenience in today’s world is probably the biggest selling point for anything, especially in our time-strapped society. This convenience doesn’t come at a monetary cost, but using Google’s AMP service does have “consequences”.
“What are the consequences of using Accelerated Mobile Pages?
By using the AMP format, content producers are making the content in AMP files available to be crawled, indexed & displayed (subject to the robots exclusion protocol) and cached by third parties.”

Just like all your other data, it is stored and cached on a server somewhere, more likely the cloud. But this does present some concerns though, being that all the pages you view, how long, what you comment on, etc. are stored on Google’s infrastructure and in some cases the third parties servers as well, then sold to the highest bidder.

Google elaborates on this a bit more on the privacy aspect. Interestingly enough, the publisher can still use their own privacy policy:

“As a publisher, what responsibilities do I have when using Accelerated Mobile Pages?
If a publisher collects data from users who view its AMP pages, such data collection is governed by the publisher’s privacy policy. It is the publisher’s responsibility to disclose its privacy policy, ideally by including a link to it within each of the publisher’s AMP pages.

Furthermore, the laws in many jurisdictions, such as in the European Union, require a publisher to give visitors information about cookies and other forms of local storage used on the publisher’s web pages (including AMP pages). In many cases, these laws also require that the publisher obtain consent. It is the publisher’s responsibility to determine, based on its use of cookies, what type of notice would be appropriate. Additional information and tools for generating cookie notices can be found at www.cookiechoices.org. Note that the AMP component amp-user-notification provides a way to display a dismissable notification to the user.

If an AMP page is shown within a viewer on a third party platform, such as a Google AMP Viewer on Google Search, the viewer may be a hybrid environment in which the AMP publisher and the third party platform may each collect data about the user. In such a case, data collection by each party is governed by that party’s privacy policy (i.e., in a hybrid viewer environment, data collected by the AMP publisher is governed by its privacy policy and data collected by the third party platform is governed by the platform’s privacy policy).”

This new software is targeted directly for mobile users so if you are using a desktop or laptop; you don’t have to worry about this platform.Google’s AMP certainly isn’t the first type of mobile page viewer to come out either, kik comes to mind.

Companies and websites want to facilitate clicks and page views. Mobile page software is an inventive way to speed up web browsing and bypass annoying adverts. Businesses should be able to provide their customers with a pleasant and efficient web browsing experience. Google’s new software; however, seems to be more focused on using it as a front for data collection than actually providing any real value to the people. In the future, it is possible this tech could be manipulated to censor search results or web pages, perhaps they are already doing it?