An article on Wired.com Epicenter reports on Google’s latest move: behavioral profiling ads. In a nutshell, anything you do on Google sites (including YouTube), combined with the info from DoubleClick (which Google recently acquired), can now be used to target your preferences on any sites using Google’s AdSense banners.
Most telling is this quote from the article:
Google says its mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google often says that it believes ads are information.
What it doesn’t say, but clearly believes, is that you are information to be indexed, made accessible and useful.
This is why Google fought government regulators who wanted search engines to limit how long they stored personal data on users.
If this wasn’t real, it would make one heck of a great horror movie.
Until recently, I declined all cookies from Google, due mainly to their previous practice of setting a cookie which did not expire until 2038. (Some may even know the quite infamous words of google-watch.org\: “Yikes! Too many preservatives.”) Even today, I only accept cookies from Google for the session (thankfully Firefox and its derivatives have this great feature) and when feasible, access Google via Tor and/or use alternative search engines.
It’s one thing for Google to index and archive content available on the Web. It’s another entirely for Google to indefinitely index me or you.
2 thoughts on “How creepy can Google get?”
Google's practices have been concerning me for awhile now. I know that a lot of companies already have or are considering moving their email to Gmail. Big mistake, in my opinion, considering Google doesn't know how to keep a lid on private information.
For quite some time I had a policy of seeking an alternate means of contact for Gmail users. That's simply no longer feasible, though I still personally refuse to use Gmail even though as a Webmaster I had little choice but to establish (actually re-activate) my Google account to get search term information about my site.
Google used to have a semi-official motto of "Don't be evil." I have to wonder about that now.
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