Social Question

zen_'s avatar

Doesn't Google scare the hell out of you?

Asked by zen_ (6273points) September 28th, 2010

I never liked it to begin with and tried and anything else to search. I’ve since succumbed, inevitably. I just didn’t like the idea that they blatantly state they are not only saving every search, but will use it as well to further send you “appropriate” ads and such. For now.

I also didn’t like that the person after you could see your recent searches (I know there are “privacy” settings – b.s. by the way, but sometimes you are on someone else’s computer, and sometimes you don’t erase.)

Now – it seems to not only save your searches, but I was copy/pasting something here in fluther, and when I went to search something – it “suggested” what I had just copied. In other words – it’s literally following, and perhaps saving, your every word and move on the PC.

Big Brother or paranoia? Your call. Your thoughts?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

45 Answers

MissAnthrope's avatar

I, for one, welcome our new Google overlords.

Rarebear's avatar

It doesn’t scare me any more than my credit card company scares me. It’s just part of the digital age. I actually don’t have any problem with targeted ads. I’d rather get an ad for a telescope company, then, say, a church.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Resistance is futile.

zen_'s avatar

@Rarebear I don’t know if you read the details part of my question, but it’s literally following and recording everything you type.

Edit: @hawaii_jake Probably.

robmandu's avatar

“If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”—Andrew Lewis

Let that sink in. Really roll around in it a bit.

You, yes you, are the product… a commodity. And you’re being sold. That is, when you use a “free” service, you are in essence trading elements of yourself for that service.

You see, “free” is a misnomer. While it doesn’t cost you any cash, it is costing you your privacy. In effect, you pay dearly.

Privacy controls, blah blah blah, big brother, yadda yadda yadda… we’re knowingly doing it to ourselves.

Here’s a fun story to read.

And it’s worse than you might think. Google has something like 80% of the online advertising business. That web site you visited which is not on a Google domain… it’s likely serving up some ads for your eyeballs. Those ads come from Google and Google knows what page of the site you’re viewing and where you’ve already been today. There is no escape (besides getting an ad-blocker, of course.)

[Disclaimer: I search, email, voice, chat, analyze, and feed read using Google.]

MissAnthrope's avatar

Honestly, I love Google. If Google were a real, tangible object, I would give it a giant, full-body hug. I think I should do Google commercials, I’m that serious. For some reason, their data collecting doesn’t bother me that much.

zen_'s avatar

@Resonantscythe Cute!

@robmandu Thank you. Thank you for that answer.

Blueroses's avatar

I love the Google gods but it does tap my paranoia. I constantly run Maxa and delete my Flash cookies several times daily which confuses the hell out of AdSense.
That said, GMail and Chrome are the best things to come into my life since sex and sushi.

robmandu's avatar

@Blueroses, cookies are just part of the cat and mouse game.

Blueroses's avatar

@robmandu Thank you for destroying my false sense of security. I was happy in my ignorance. Now I want a hug. Or sushi. Whichever.

marinelife's avatar

I keep it out of my mind, because it so scary I would lie awake at night.

TexasDude's avatar

Not really.

though I do wonder why I’m not getting ads for “hot vintage style pinup babes” suggested to me

MissAnthrope's avatar

What is so scary about a company knowing what sites you visit? Maybe I’m missing something. If that’s the main concern, I dunno, I won’t lose sleep if some random stranger notices I like to watch porn or whatever… aside from that, I’m not searching for or viewing anything I should be worried about.

downtide's avatar

yes actually they’ve scared me enough for quite a while. Enough that I very rarely use google any more and never use anything that I have to sign in to a google account for. I still have a few gmail addresses sitting there collecting spam. More fool them, if they want to archive all that rubbish.

Blueroses's avatar

@MissAnthrope It isn’t that I mind if they see what sites I visit or my search queries. It’s the Gmail ads that appear above the Inbox and target words from my private mail or gtalk conversations.
If they want to direct me to the best sites when I look up 2001 Subaru parts… great! If my friend asks “K. y r u sad?” (not that my friends speak that way. much) I do not like seeing a link to KY jelly products appear on my screen.

Rarebear's avatar

@zen_ Just as your credit card company is recording everything you spend. Doesn’t bother me.

bob_'s avatar

It does not.

Regarding your details, did you install Google Bar? If you have it, when you select a text, it automatically appears on the window where you type what you want to search for (so that you only have to click “Search” instead of typing it out). I’d say that’s pretty handy.

flutherother's avatar

Google almost knows what you are thinking which is fine in a country with Obama or even David Cameron in charge, but if Saddam Hussain or Stalin ruled it would be terrifying.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Lightlyseared's avatar

No, because their moto is “Don’t be evil”.

Blueroses's avatar

That doesn’t stop another entity from adopting their technology for evil porpoises.
Emmm, purposes.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, I don’t really have any level of secrets that I am worried about and my buying habits are well known, I buy most second hand.

janbb's avatar

There are just so many things I can worry about at any given time, and right now there is not room for this one on the list.

Gamrz360's avatar

Oh, yes, yes it does.

SundayKittens's avatar

Yes. I’m scared.

Pandora's avatar

Would only scare me if I started to look up instructions on bomb making or illegal substances because it may be something reported to the authorities. But since its the new way of sending me crap mail without sending me crap mail (ads), I’m ok with it. Easier to hit delete than go to my mail box and getting trash and then throwing it out.
It has taken me months of wondering why I keep getting mail about the scooter. I’m 49 and in great shape. I realized they must’ve gotten the info from my insurance or the hospital when I went in to get checked for a bum shoulder. It turned out to be a pinch nerve in my neck. I guess they are counting on me to be a future customer if the nerve ever pinches me lower. LOL

anartist's avatar

Everyone on the internet is raping our privacy. Google at least gives as good as it gets!
YAY Google!

Remember, don’t post anything on the internet you wouldn’t want your mother or boss to read, and always wear clean underpants.

Plucky's avatar

Well….Google didn’t scare me until now :P

After reading some posts and the link from @Resonantscythe…it freaks me out. Thanks so much lol.
I have a friend who is very paranoid of this type of stuff. He was kicked off youtube for joining some anti something group or other… lol I didn’t pay much attention because I thought he was being uh over paranoid. I will be asking him about that again..

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

I love Google. It doesn’t scare me. I have my own computer, so no one sees my searches not that they’re bad

TexasDude's avatar

@Aesthetic_Mess, so no one sees my searches

You’re wrong! The evil corporations in their corporation buildings see your searches… and they use their evil corporation money to do corporation things with them!

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
SundayKittens's avatar

@anartist I don’t want my privacy raped!!!! Poor privacy!!!

bob_'s avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Are you saying that advertising is evil?

TexasDude's avatar

@bob_, nope, I was being sarcastic… and quoting Team America: World Police. Man, people have not been very good at detecting my sarcasm lately.

bob_'s avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard It’s probably because this was asked in General.

* shakes head disapprovingly * ~

You do bring up an interesting point, though: Google is a corporation, they do “see” (and store and analyze) everything you search for, and they do use this information to make money. That’s what most companies do: they provide a service, which costs them money (in Google’s case, servers, engineers and lots of other things). Last time I checked, I didn’t pay Google to use their services, so the money has to come from elsewhere. If the government wanted to keep tabs on you, there are other more effective ways to do it (like, say… heh). Also, as others have said, what’s so sensitive about the stuff we search for? I just don’t see what’s there to worry about.

LostInParadise's avatar

The only way that Google would scare me is if we ever got a really repressive government in place, like during the McCarthy era, and they commisioned Google’s records to keep track of the political sites that people visited. Otherwise I don’t really care. If they can use my browsing experience to get me to see ads for things that I might actually want to buy, that’s okay with me.

bob_'s avatar

Hey, when was this moved to Social?

* thinks of something stupid to say *

anartist's avatar

@SundayKittens it is anyway, by the newspapers online, by yahoo, by the sports authority, by netflix, by anyone who can afford to have the tools to follow you about. Look up rubiconproject and then read a newspaper online. There is no way to effectively use the web without the “rapists” any more.
@bob_ haha back to the classics! one pastrami on rye for you! With or without dressing?

bob_'s avatar

@anartist I don’t know what you’re talking about.

* innocent look *

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