Grandcentral.com becomes Google.com/Voice

www.Google.com/Voice has gone live as replacement for Grandcentral.com.  while many of the features are staying the same, the ability to forward your calls to multiple phones, ability to make outgoing calls from your Virtual Number.

What’s new in Google.com/voice is that you can now get your voicemails converted to text, and sent as e-mail or SMS. The Voice Recognition software used to this offer the Google Translator “Improve this recognition” option, so that you can tell it what it got wrong, allowing Crowd Sourcing to improve the recognition over time.

I have mixed feelings about all of this.  Yes this is cool, Sure I can do that with Skype, but realistically, I’m not sure I want Google reading all of my voice mails. 

If you have Gmail, and Google.com/Voice, you are putting a lot of sensitive information in the hands of a big company that makes its money on advertising.  This worries me.  The “Do no evil” slogan doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy.  Kind of like the dentist who puts a sign up that says “I won’t rape you while you are under anesthesia”.

The idea that every voice mail you have ever had is in an archive ready to be subpoenaed or requested by homeland security is scary even if you trust Google. 

Will this keep me from using the features? No.  For my business stuff I’m not to worried but I wouldn’t advise using the service for your Craigslist Adult Services Ad, nor would I call your bookie on it.

That 1-800-GOOG-411 Call you made to find a supplier for Fertilizer combined with the call to the local gun shop on the same day the IRS contacted you about an audit.  Do you really want one place to get all that information?

Sure I have a lot of Sprint, but Sprint doesn’t have tracking cookies in the Ads on 30% of websites, or Analytics on something like 75%. If a single company can see that you showed an Ad, visited a web site then called to order the item, and that 3 of your friends did the same that is creepy.  I’m all for monopolies but there are times that the amount of data a single company has scares me.