They are enormously transparent Peace. Still, for me they are Big Brother because we allowed them to become big. Wish there could be someone else who could balance their position of power out a little.
If you use Facebook, there's a good chance you've already used it. Facebook has a deal with Bing that on searches you'll usually see a text box at the bottom that says "Search on Bing" - any searches on this go directly through bing's system (embedded on facebook).
In all honesty, it's not as good as Google but I want it to grow so that there's some semblance of competition for Google. Competition in the market is always a good thing, Google's growing too quick too quickly.
For me both Facebook and Google have Big Brother status, and I'm very apprehensive about Big Brothers. I'd have liked Facebook to have its own competition, i.e. another equivalent social network. Ditto Google. BUT having said that, if one has a serious Website that one wants to promote, I can appreciate the value of Facebook.
I'm with you - what makes them scary to me is not just that they're big companies, but that they're what's known as "big data" - they have so much information about who we are, what we do, what we like (both what you tell people and what you would hide from others) - they have your life documented in 0's and 1's. - depending on your age, that could be you be your entire life on record.