Why Google Is A Creep ?

Why Google Is A Creep ? Want to know what an “axolotl” looks like, or what the population of Antarctica is?  Sure, just Google it Google will always know the answer.  The company prides itself in organizing the world’s information to make it universally accessible and useful and is the most-visited site on the Internet.

“Google Is Getting Creepy,” by author Jeff Beer, is an article to inform readers about how much Google as a company knows about us as consumers of its products.  With the company’s remarkable success and technological advances, many are unaware of how much personal information we surrender about almost every detail of our daily lives, as we rely on technology more and more throughout our day to make things “easier.” 

Google earns $40 billion per year, mainly from advertising powered by the knowledge about all of us.  It considers our interests, schedules, friends, work, locations, purchases, and everything else we tell Google about ourselves through our internet use.  These well-informed advertisers are then able to construct the perfect and most appropriate advertisements to appeal to their target audience.  (Makes you reconsider everything you post on the Internet, right?)

It should come as no surprise, then, that in early 2012 Google decreased its 70 different privacy agreements to just one, allowing Google more access to our information than ever before.

We all are becoming increasingly dependent on technology, constantly connected to smart phones and social media sites.  This is the type of thing companies like Google want!  The more we rely on our phones, the more information they are able to gather, thus selling our information and increasing their own revenues.

Any free YouTube video we watch or Pandora station we listen to, we are all faced with the annoyance of advertisements.  Google, according to Beer, is the “King of All Ads” which helps companies find new target audiences and clients online by selling our information.

However, this type of business and lack of online privacy is beginning to raise some red flags for those who actually know this is going on (because, let’s face it, who actually reads the 20 page agreement?).  Does Google have the right to invade our privacy like this?  And not only can they access it, but is it legal or ethical for them to sell that information for a profit?

Vice-president of product management for Google+ Bradley Horowitz calls their advertising model “self-regulating.”  He said:

“Our philosophy with ads is that they can and should be useful to the user. We actually measure this quite closely, and we don’t want to show ads that aren’t valuable.  That’s why Google ads work so well.”

The article notes how Target can predict a woman’s due date based on her buying habits.  Therefore, imagine how much Google knows about us with access to our calendars, email, GPS, etc.  Now, with the company’s reach extending through Android technology, Google will have access to more data about our lives than ever.  It’s a huge societal dilemma.

The company has dodged legal complaints about its privacy, but recently it appears to really be a hot topic under scrutiny in both the United States and Europe.  European regulators have threatened massive fines, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has imposed a $22.5 million penalty for tracking users of Apple’s Safari browser.

As a result, Google now spends as much lobbying in Washington as Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple combined.  In 2011, the company spent $9.7 million and $8.95 million in just the first half of this year.

However, still, Google remains to be among leading competitors, and people are not making attempts at boycotting the use of their technology.  Some day we might decide the costs of consumer profiling outweigh the benefits of our awesome gadgets, but not yet.

About the Author:
This article has written by Kayla Bibeau. Lovingly written by the editorial team at Fueled, London's premier iPhone app design agency

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