Google is very much a surveillance capitalist (which is a different thing than being in the surveillance business). It is by far the biggest in this, even more so than Facebook. If you ever requested the gigabytes of data they have about your person, and realize this not even includes processed / derived data, you also realize this data is their oil and they are the top oil Baron of the internet.
The cookies thing represents only one of the many ways in which Google extends their influence on the internet. There’s the browser oligopoly with Chrome phoning home, there’s Gmail and the plethora of other Google services that can collect data. And let’s not forget the near monopoly in the search space that’s a rich oil well. Google with their dominance is able to set new internet standards, think e.g. of AMP, that work in their favor. And lastly even at infrastructure level they extend their reach ever further, and there’s good chance your internet traffic flow through Google’s undersea cables.
Google is not an ethical company, and it is also not moving in a more ethical direction either. Like all Big Tech players they are at an absolutely insane, entirely unhealthy level of power. Google is absolutely anathema to a free internet. It is corporate web incorporated. And the sad thing is that most people still have their blinders on, enjoying the “it’s all free” convenience, which is the same ruse that has led us in this unfortunate position.
What’s so exciting of the Fediverse, is not the number of users, but the innovation in decentralized web and new application spaces, plus the fact that it is occurring without even a hint of corporate influence, atm. This is also the Achilles Heel, and Fediverse must grow stronger - again not necessarily in terms of numbers, but ‘completeness of vision’ and standards - to withstand corrupting influences.
Also - and not referring to you, but in general - it is an utter shame that so many people look down upon FOSS, while open-source has arguably eaten the world. FOSS developers, by their principles and pursuit of things close to their heart, have made it hard to eek out a living from their work. And their work is all-too-easily profited from or even exploited by others, including and especially Big Tech.
I am very happy to be both involved with FOSS and Fediverse, and spend my spare time advocating and helping to bring it to more prominence.