Google is one of the most lovable corporations this world has ever come to know. When it comes to making life easier, there isn’t much else out there that can compete. If I want to know something as arbitrary as the address of the nearest bank, it’ll have an answer. Of course this isn’t enough because Google will take it even further, and tell you how to get to that bank, when that bank was founded, it’s store hours, etc. However, there are two sides to every coin.
What many people fail to realize is that every single keystroke and mouse click input into Google is recorded permanently. That means with a little bit of programming ingenuity, Google can fairly accurately guess your age, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation based on the searches you make. The more searches you make, the more accurate those guesses.
If you have an account with Google, then they’ll actually try to guess your age, gender and general interests, they think you have. I initially found them too be eerily accurate, but ultimately reasonable considering I’ve been a member for nearly five years.
You could try to evade surveillance by using a different browser or search engine to make your searches, however, even then, sites that use Google’s ad service, AdSense will report you to Google. For people who prefer anonymity, this is an invasion of privacy.
Many argue that Google’s extensive use of AdSense is a breach of privacy. The fact that they have a digital profile of users entire lives on the web, not unsurprisingly, makes people feel like their privacy is violated. As Google’s enterprise of services grows, this issue that will likely gain more traction in the coming years.
Just to name a few of Google’s most popular products, there’s YouTube, the largest video sharing site, Google Play, the largest app store, Gmail, the largest email provider, Android, the largest mobile operating system and finally, Google.com, the most visited website in the world.They’ll do their best impose these their services on you too. For example, Google forces you to join Google Plus, their own social media site, if you wanted a Google account for 2 1/2 years (not anymore).Google is slowly finding ways to play a role in every aspect of your life.
Too be fair, Google gets 97 percent of its revenue from ads; ads which are tailored for consumers via the use of keywords. When someone looks up “airplane” and “tickets,” a list of airfare businesses tagged with similar keywords will show up. This is what makes AdSense, so accurate and successful. I have and still will support Google in any future ventures. They’re at the forefront of software and hardware innovation, and constantly work on making the world a more connected place. Their deliberation in making life easier is nothing short of outstanding and their impact on my productivity is indispensable.
In principle, there’s no harm in capitalizing on information they collected from users. Google isn’t known for carelessly selling information to third parties and most likely won’t ever be. Even if they did, there would tremendous repercussions and would likely prove more harmful than helpful. This is why, I’d urge anyone who fears Google’s ulterior capitalistic motives to reconsider.
Nonetheless, Google is still a corporation and at the end of the day, their overwhelming concern is how much profit they made, even if it’s at the cost of one’s confidentiality. At the very least, people who are avid web surfers should be aware that their search records will be recorded indefinitely. However, the reality is that no one besides Google knows the implications of using their products.