Jaco du Plessis

We Don't Need Google

google privacy freedom cloudron

I've set myself a goal for 2017: at the end of the year I want to be able to delete my Google Account. Google has established a level of vertical integration on the internet that is not safe and does not bode well for privacy and freedom.

I've started the process: I'm hosting my own analytics software, and I'm gradually migrating my sites to using it.

All my email accounts except gmail is hosted by the excellent Migadu that is based in Switzerland.

Below is a list of Google services I currently use, with possible replacements in brackets:

  1. Gmail (Migadu)
  2. Google Analytics (Piwik)
  3. YouTube (Vimeo)
  4. Google Drive (NextCloud)
  5. Google Keep (There are hundreds of alternatives)
  6. Firebase (Now.sh)
  7. Google Maps & My Maps (Mapbox & Open Street Maps)
  8. Google Cloud Storage (Amazon S3)
  9. Google Calendar & Contacts (Radicale or SOGo)
  10. Google Docs (Etherpad Lite)

I don't think I'll actually delete my account, as I'd still like to use some of the Google Cloud services for some of my software projects. I just don't want to rely on Google's services for my personal life, and I don't want Google to sell my data.

Luckily there are wonderful open source projects that make it easier than ever to self-host some replacements to the Google products. A tip of the hat goes to Cloudron for their wonderful work.

Have a comment? Email me at jaco@jacoduplessis.co.za.