Like many people, I did a Google search the other morning. I was looking for a place to stay in Lake Tahoe and I found a bunch of great information on this. Aside from the information I was actually looking for, I also got a bunch of ads. For the next few days I was bombarded by more ads about Lake Tahoe. All I wanted to do was to go to Lake Tahoe for the weekend – not to become an expert on Lake Tahoe tourism.
This made me wish for the Google of yesteryear, a great search engine that I could rely on to find information versus a monolithic company that sees me (and my information) as their product. What happened to Google? On their website they state, “We take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line.” Really?
Google has publicly stated that their corporate objective is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. It is next to impossible to use Google’s offerings without them mining your personal information, even if you don’t want them to. In some cases, they even state that using their products gives them the rights to reuse your information.
I think that it’s rooted in this. Google states that the more they know about you and your behaviors the better they can advertise to you. The truth is that is really all about increasing their revenue and profitability. We have become their product and our information is what they are after. This encroaches on our personal privacy.
What if we don’t want to be their product? I know that I don’t. Maybe I need to check out Bing?