Google search box
The internet is currently buzzing with rumours of a new Google product called ‘Google Mine’, which will (allegedly) let people catalogue, review and share their stuff (CDs, clothes and yes, even cars) online. What will this do for the Sharing Economy, and would you use it?

Google has a knack for creating simple, effective products that people want. Search, Maps, Chrome, Android, Shopping, Drive, Gmail… the list goes on. They all harness the power of the internet to bring people information when and where they want it. And all Google asks for in exchange is a bit of data. Clever Google.
 
Google Glass user (c) EricaJoy / Flickr 
Google knows a lot about my online world. It probably knows more about me than I know about myself (I tend to forget stuff). One thing it doesn’t know, yet, is what books and CDs I have on my shelves, and what I’ve got in the garden shed. All this is about to change if Google Operating System’s Alex Chitu is right, and Google are gearing up to launch Google Mine. 
 
In this brave new world I’ll be cataloguing all my real world possessions, effectively digitising all that information. Then I’ll share it with Google and, if I want, the world! This is not entirely new. Services like Zilok allow to you rent anything to and from your peers. The big difference here is that it’s Google doing it.
 
As an individual (and a Google fan) I’m excited about Google Mine. I’d be happy to hire out my lawnmower and make a bit of money on it. With my Zipcar hat on, I’m optimistic that this will help raise the profile of the Sharing Economy, and introduce lots more people to the joys of collaborative consumption. All this positivity is tempered, though, by the niggling thought that as we grant access to another batch of our personal data, HAL9000 (or Skynet) is one step closer.
 
What do you think? Is Google Mine a good idea, or is it the beginning of the end for personal privacy?
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