What Google knows about your personality

What Google knows about your personality
Table of Contents

Gary Duffuiled, a good friend from the UK, shared an interesting post that he wanted to share with us:

Source: Computer World link click there
Computerworld – Google knows more about you that your mother
Kevin Bankston, a senior staff attorney at Electronic Frontier Foundation, made this statement to this reporter recently. It might have seemed unbelievable a few years ago. You might wonder if Bankston isn’t on to something if you’re one of the growing numbers of people who use more and more products from Google’s ever-expanding range (at last count, I was using twelve).
It’s easy for privacy advocates and policymakers to raise alarms about online privacy, and Google in particular. Google can track your search history and activity on partner sites that use its advertising services if you use Google’s search engine. Chrome browser may be able to identify every Web site that you have typed in the address bar or “Omnibox”
It could have all your e-mails (Google Mail), appointments (Google Calendar), and even your last known address (Google Latitude). It might know what you are watching (YouTube), and who you are calling. It might have transcripts of your phone calls (Google Voice).
Picasa Web Albums may contain your photos. This includes face-recognition technology which can automatically identify you and your friends when you upload new photos. It may also know what books you have read, what annotations you made, and how long you read them.
Google doesn’t technically know anything about you. Google does store a lot of information about you and your activities, including the content you create, the searches you perform, and the Web sites visited.
Bankston says that Google expects consumers to trust it with as close to a printout their brains have ever existed.
Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel, says that Google follows three “bedrock principles” in how it uses personal data. “We don’t sell it. It is not collected without permission. It is not used to serve ads without permission. However, it is not clear what “personal information” means.
This business model is not exclusive to Google. Online tools aren’t always free. They are paid for with micropayments of personal data,” states Greg Conti, a professor at West Point’s U.S. Military Academy and author of the book Googling Security – How Much Does Google Know about You. Google has the largest collection of data about individuals, including the content they create and the activities they engage in online.
The company’s incredible control over data, generated by a growing number of products and services that it offers, has placed it at the center of the privacy debate online. Pam Dixon, the World Privacy Forum’s executive director, stated that “no company has ever had as much consumer data” — a claim that Google refutes.
Opacity vs. Transparency
Critics claim that Google is too vague about how it uses the data it collects. They also question how it shares that information with advertisers and other services. They also question how it protects that information from government investigators and litigators. They also question how long it keeps that data before “anonymizing” it to ensure that it cannot be traced back to individuals.
Dixon says that privacy is a difficult question because of Google’s opaqueness about how it uses the data and the lack of fundamental information rights [that] users enjoy, Dixon.
Google is not the only company that has privacy policy opacity. It’s so common that the Federal Trade Commission warned online businesses in February that they would face increased regulation if they don’t produce privacy statements that are clear, concise, and consumer-friendly.