We are all familiar with the phrase “Just Google it”, whenever we are in doubt of an answer we just utilize one of our many hand held devices and literally search the answer. We are now at a point where before I can type out exactly what I want to search, Google has finished my sentence for me, and Google can read our minds!
The fact that Google is extremely convenient and it only shows me what I want time and time again, is this great or is this a violation of my privacy. Google is now able to show me on a map, via satellite exactly where my house it and a picture of it, they can remember all of the items I’ve searched and then supply me with Advertisements that follow my interests according to my search. At first, we think this is great, I am not forced to see things I do not want, but then before we know it one can get a little uneasy on how much they really know about us.
According to “How Google Dominates Us” by James Gleick, Google made 96 percent of its $29 billion in revenue in 2012. This entire time we may be under the impression that they are looking out for us and we forget that, just like any other business, Google is a company that must make money. Instead of cluttering up our laptops or tablet screens with information we are not interested it, they are taking businesses and putting their information in front of the people who want to see it – Win, Win. They have a strong motto of “Don’t be evil” as a reminder to remain ethical like any other human being, this keeps them striving to be better yet, helps keep them grounded but we are in a give and take privacy battle. In 2004, Google cooperated with China and their censorship laws by allowing only government approved results to be provided to their countrymen. Now, as an American where we have rights of Freedom of the Press, Speech etc., I understand why this may seem as though Google went to the dark side. Yet, we are referring to a country that does not have the same cultural or societal beliefs as we do, their people are breed into a life of being told what they can and cannot do, does that make Google evil for making a business decision with another country and following (to a certain extent) their cultural differences, bad? Google still stood true to themselves by pushing back and by insisting they alert the web users that they are indeed being blocked. Where does the international business and American ideology of business line in the sand get drawn?
In a world where technology is constantly evolving we tell the world we want everything to be quicker, easier, faster but then we get upset if we realize they know too much about us. This is where you decide do you want to save a few seconds and go or would you prefer taking the long route to the answers you’re looking for. You decide.