Google (GOOG) is flirting with what company chairman Eric Schmidt once called "the creepy line.
At its recent developer conference, the Mountain View search giant showcased a number of new personalized technologies that many consumers will find useful, such as alerts of upcoming flights and restaurant recommendations.
But the new services underscore the vast amounts of ever more personal data Google has collected on its users. And given its history and the apparent attitudes of its leadership toward consumer privacy, the new services raise concerns about how Google collected that data and what else it's doing with it.
That's because, while the company typically offers such services nominally for free, it's not being simply altruistic. We pay with our data for the services Google offers, and it's not always clear how the company uses that currency.