It has been a while since I last updated you on how Google's plans for world domination were going.
I have to report that things seem to be going worryingly well for the world's leading search engine - although the term "search engine" doesn't really cover Google's online activities any longer.
The chief executive of Google, Eric Schmidt, whom I met once during my Sun Microsystem days when he was their chief technology officer (how we nerds love to name drop) has definitely got that mad German scientist look about him. At the time, I did suspect that one day he might cause the world some concern, and it seems I was right.
Since my last update and his instatement (April 06), Google has launched Google Analytics, Google News, Google Calendar, Google Browser Sync and Google Mobile.
All these are free and funded by advertising!
However, the latest 'G' service is not, which makes it profoundly more worrying. Launched last week, Google Checkout, is their first foray into consumer's wallets.
Google Checkout is a payment system that can be used either alone or as an alternative to existing checkout systems already in place on an e-retailer's website. The purchasing public simply signs into their Google account on the e-tailer's website and then clicks once to complete the checkout process using the stored credit card number.
This saves having to fill out detailed forms, with shipping and payment information, for every site used.
Google charges merchants two per cent of the value of each sale, plus 20 cents per transaction. Google, however, pays any credit card company fees, which can be more than t wo per cent for small businesses.
Now here is the sting: Google will reward its retailers by offering them $10 in free sales processing for every dollar they spend on its advertising program, AdWords.
On the face of it, Checkout looks like a direct competitor for PayPal, eBay's payment system.
However, according to Google, Checkout offers one big benefit to users. As payments are processed by Google, shoppers don't need to divulge their card details to hundreds of different e-tailors.
All we consumers need to do is trust Google and they will keep our cards details safe.
Google has tightly integrated Checkout with AdWords. Any advertiser offering a Google Checkout option will now see their ads displaying with a Google Checkout icon.
This all sounds fantastic for the future of e-commerce, but what is worrying is the all-powerful position this puts Google in.
Google, already privy to information on how and what the world is searching for, will also know everything about everyone's spending patterns too.
Any retailer using the system will need to trust Google with commercially very sensitive sales statistics. The other dilemma is that Google might favour retailers subscribing to Checkout with further advertising incentives.
Google assures us that the information taken will not be data mined for their further commercial gain. It seems that in Google we must trust.