While I was sitting listening to the seminars that I attended this last weekend, my mind wondered off into the world of the Internet, and my day to day interactions with it, such as how much personal information I put out there for all to see. Google popped up, as they have been posting their new policy to anyone who is going to use their services with respects to their wanting to track where you surf, so that they can “customize” or “tailer” ads to your specific interests.
I hear many concerned with this idea, but I feel most have jumped the gun as far as not understanding what it is Google is trying to do. You use Google’s many web services, and they in turn track what you have looked at, and they sell that information to prospective advertisers or marketing companies. So they give you the choice of many options, from not using Google at all, to switching services for your Internet surfing. I only use Google for my Twitter, You Tube and Search Engine. I do not use Gmail, or anything else that Google runs.
But, Google’s venture is only as good as long as you read their ads. I block most of the ads that Google (and other web providers) dump on websites. This, almost anyone can do, but you will have to search that yourself–on Google! I very rarely see ads, unless they are actually placed in the text of the website, or posted in GIFs (banners) that are specifically endorsed by that website. Almost all of the Flash can be controlled, so I simply turn everything off, or create an ad block list, and leaving the good Flash banners up and running.
I am not sure if I call Google’s attempt at marketing a huge threat to our privacy, nor do I see this as something that everyone should be weary of. If you have the choice to turn it off, or go around it, than this is perfectly acceptable to me. But, If I cannot do neither of these things, then we have a problem. I personally jump from one computer to another, often between five workstations and portable devices in one day, so tracking my habits would be almost impossible. Google would only get on a partial gimps at what I do on the net. Now with our shift towards encrypting our cyber communication and searches on the net, I can see Google challenge getting even that much more difficult to do.
Good luck Google, and I hope you make lots of money selling your data to advertisers!