PDA

View Full Version : Google: Getting kinda creepy


joepunk
May 23, 2007, 01:51 PM
Link (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/c3e49548-088e-11dc-b11e-000b5df10621.html)

Google’s ambition to maximise the personal information it holds on users is so great that the search engine envisages a day when it can tell people what jobs to take and how they might spend their days off.

VIDEO (http://video.ft.com/ukdailyvideo/?clipid=1359_FT0262)
Maija Palmer looks at Google’s data mining aims

Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, said gathering more personal data was a key way for Google to expand and the company believes that is the logical extension of its stated mission to organise the world’s information.

Asked how Google might look in five years’ time, Mr Schmidt said: “We are very early in the total information we have within Google. The algorithms will get better and we will get better at personalisation.

“The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as ‘What shall I do tomorrow?’ and ‘What job shall I take?’?”

The race to accumulate the most comprehensive database of individual information has become the new battleground for search engines as it will allow the industry to offer far more personalised advertisements. These are the holy grail for the search industry, as such advertising would command higher rates.

Mr Schmidt told journalists in London: “We cannot even answer the most basic questions because we don’t know enough about you. That is the most important aspect of Google’s expansion.”

He said Google’s newly relaunched iGoogle service, which allows users to personalise their own Google search page and publish their own content, would be a key feature.

Another service, Google personalised search, launched two years ago, allows users to give Google permission to store their web-surfing history, what they have searched and clicked on, and use this to create more personalised search results for them. Another service under development is Google Recommendations – where the search suggests products and services the user might like, based on their already established preferences. Google does not sell advertising against these services yet, but could in time use them to display more targeted ads to people.

Yahoo unveiled a new search technology this year dubbed Project Panama – which monitors what internet users do on its portal, and use that information to build a profile of their interests. The profiles are then used to display ads to the people most likely to be interested in them.

Autonomy, the UK-based search company is also developing technology for “transaction hijacking”, which monitors when internet surfers are about to make a purchase online, and can suggest cheaper alternatives. Although such monitoring could raise privacy issues, Google stresses that the iGoogle and personalisation services are optional.

The Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK said it was not concerned about the personalisation developments.

Earlier this year, however, Google bowed to concerns from privacy activists in the US and Europe, by agreeing to limit the amount of time it keeps information about the internet searches made by its users to two years.

Google has also faced concerns that its proposed $3.1bn acquisition of DoubleClick will lead to an erosion of online privacy.

Fears have been stoked by the potential for Google to build up a detailed picture of someone’s behaviour by combining its records of web searches with the information from DoubleClick’s “cookies”, the software it places on users’ machines to track which sites they visit.

Mr Schmidt said this year that the company was working on technology to reduce concerns.

ravenvii
May 23, 2007, 02:02 PM
Big Brother!

Who'd ever thought Google, not Microsoft et al, will become the nightmare mega-corporation of the future?

MacNut
May 23, 2007, 02:08 PM
Google has plans to take over the world.

murfle
May 23, 2007, 02:14 PM
Google’s ambition to maximise the personal information it holds on users is so great that the search engine envisages a day when it can tell people what jobs to take and how they might spend their days off.

I could only imagine the majority of jobs it would recommend would be in the porn industry, and it would recommend a list of brothels in the person's area for their days off...

Kamera RAWr
May 23, 2007, 03:11 PM
This indeed is scary situation. Its 1984 :( . I think all of this tracking people stuff by many online companies is kinda creepy, for the most part.

(Edit: Not that I'm suggesting it only happens with online companies ;) )

Cooknn
May 23, 2007, 03:28 PM
I think all of this tracking people stuff by many online companies is kinda creepy...How can they know for sure who is behind a specific ip address at any given time? I don't buy it.

Dig your username Kamera RAWr. After watching Photoshop CS3 videos for the last two hours, it made me laugh :D

Henri Gaudier
May 23, 2007, 03:55 PM
Other than Google searches which is sort of involuntary information, won't people have to give the info in the first place? You know, on line diaries itinerary reminders etc? If that's the case it will only be the iDopes that get the treatment. It's the catch all aspect to surveillance I hate; CCTV in the streets and buses etc. I think everyone has a right to an unobserved life but at least with this one you have to opt in.

DeaconGraves
May 23, 2007, 04:13 PM
Other than Google searches which is sort of involuntary information, won't people have to give the info in the first place? You know, on line diaries itinerary reminders etc? If that's the case it will only be the iDopes that get the treatment. It's the catch all aspect to surveillance I hate; CCTV in the streets and buses etc. I think everyone has a right to an unobserved life but at least with this one you have to opt in.

That's true. But with programs like Google Desktop, g-mail, etc., people are identifying themselves more to Google then when it was just the search engine. And a lot of people will download whatever google offers them.

I tried Google Desktop (for my PC) for a while, but started to get really creeped out by how it archived everything on my computer (and looked into it) and then started to subcribe to RSS feeds of sites that I may have just visited once in passing. And don't get me started on how acurate the sponsored links get to the subject of the e-mail in g-mail.

killr_b
May 23, 2007, 07:15 PM
Agreed. Definitely creepy.

Soon they will be the online OS.

neut
May 23, 2007, 07:33 PM
Remember EPIC and Google Grid? (http://www.robinsloan.com/epic/)... a bit cheesy but some of the (fictional) predictions have come true in various forms.

I gotta go ... Big Brother is watching.
_

Apple Hobo
May 23, 2007, 08:23 PM
The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as ‘What shall I do tomorrow?’ and ‘What job shall I take?’


What a bleak outlook on the future. How shallow and empty does one have to be to get to the point where they have ask Google to plan their day for them? :rolleyes:

mlw1235
May 23, 2007, 08:31 PM
Google has plans to take over the world.

I've been saying this to a bunch of my friends. The beauty of it is, I have no qualms about it. :)

Electro Funk
May 23, 2007, 09:24 PM
My cousin works for G**Gle, and i am going to see him in two weeks...

We are gonna have to have a little talk...;)

CorvusCamenarum
May 23, 2007, 09:38 PM
A cookie if you can identify this quote:

"Won't that be grand? Computers and the programs will start thinking and the people will stop."

Electro Funk
May 23, 2007, 09:55 PM
A cookie if you can identify this quote:

"Won't that be grand? Computers and the programs will start thinking and the people will stop."

TRON?

mjstew33
May 23, 2007, 09:57 PM
A cookie if you can identify this quote:

"Won't that be grand? Computers and the programs will start thinking and the people will stop."

Dr. Walter Gibbs

Henri Gaudier
May 24, 2007, 04:47 AM
That's true. But with programs like Google Desktop, g-mail, etc., people are identifying themselves more to Google then when it was just the search engine. And a lot of people will download whatever google offers them.

I tried Google Desktop (for my PC) for a while, but started to get really creeped out by how it archived everything on my computer (and looked into it) and then started to subcribe to RSS feeds of sites that I may have just visited once in passing. And don't get me started on how acurate the sponsored links get to the subject of the e-mail in g-mail.

Thanks for that. I didn't even know about Google Desktop. That really is quite horrifying. I know all governments throughout the world are becoming more authoritarian and surveillance obsessed (I read that in England people are videod 350 times a day and this week they've started putting CCTV into drone aircraft to watch people even more) but I'm amazed that Google can get away with this. They must be sharing the info gained on specific people for the governments to turn a blind eye to their trespass. Governments can snoop as much as they want but surely a private company has to respect the idea of privacy. I know the laws on this are very weak but come on.... analysing and subscribing without your consent. Outrageous.

Queso
May 24, 2007, 04:51 AM
I could only imagine the majority of jobs it would recommend would be in the porn industry, and it would recommend a list of brothels in the person's area for their days off...
You and about 6 billion others :D

What a bleak outlook on the future. How shallow and empty does one have to be to get to the point where they have ask Google to plan their day for them? :rolleyes:
People don't need Google for this, but it isn't going to stop Google from attempting to convince us all we do. Same old marketing crap really.

iGav
May 24, 2007, 04:56 AM
(I read that in England people are videod 350 times a day and this week they've started putting CCTV into drone aircraft to watch people even more)

With seemingly a large proportion of our next generation growing up as morons intent on ruining the lives of others. I actually think this is a good thing. ;)

Do nothing wrong and you have nothing to fear. ;)

Be an anti-social scroat and hopefully you'll be identified, arrested and have your hands, feet and nuts chopped off. :cool:

whooleytoo
May 24, 2007, 05:10 AM
My cousin works for G**Gle, and i am going to see him in two weeks...

We are gonna have to have a little talk...;)

Don't bother. "They" already know what you're going to say. ;)

If I were Google, I'd try and turn this around, and make a game out of it to alleviate people's fears. Such as: start a new URL "they.google.com". When you visit the URL it fetches your doubleclick cookies and the page builds a 'who you are' profile for you, so you can check how accurate it is.

As scary as all this sounds, I reckon that'd be fun!

Henri Gaudier
May 24, 2007, 05:20 AM
Do you know where the 'If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear" came from? It was the Stasi - the East German Police. They wanted a sort of Neuro Linguistic Programming effect. People think in very particular patterns and with NLP it’s possible to make people think and therefore, perhaps, do things they don’t want to do. It’s like a very persuasive salesman. By what he says and how he says it he can get people to buy what they don’t want or what they don’t need. How? Because our minds work in set and known ways. It’s like that question – “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” That stumps people because we are taught at school, in Comprehension, language, that you say either “Yes” or “No” to questions … so “Yes I have” means that you did used to beat your wife or “No” means you’re still beating her. The Stasi were very intrusive. There were millions of paid informants. Neighbour spying on neighbour and so on. All the permutations imaginable and the way that they sold that idea to the people, that it was acceptable, was to say “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear” and because of our thought structures it appears ostensibly true because one doesn’t want to say “I have!” It’s a statement that needs to be studied. One where you have to break the construct. It’s difficult to rally oneself and say “Civil liberties took millennia to achieve, blah, blah, blah… the loss of millions of lives and the committing of millions of so called “crimes” to establish. Benjamin Franklin said "They that give up essential liberties to obtain a temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Absolutely true.

Also, you can go further. Why not have a remote choke chain on everyone? If you don't murder or rape you'll be fine. But why give over your liberty and moral direction to anyone? You employ the state and not vice a versa. After a while the choke chain will be used against you when you go on strike or get angry - even when you are juste but are acting against an authority, a bailiff or a policeman or your government etc. Your liberty is being removed with your consent. Wake up because while you're dozing you put everyone else in danger because you become part of the herd when you're asleep.

oblomow
May 24, 2007, 05:57 AM
Do you know where the 'If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear" came from? It was the Stasi - the East German Police. They wanted a sort of Neuro Linguistic Programming effect. People think in very particular patterns and with NLP it’s possible to make people think and therefore, perhaps, do things they don’t want to do. It’s like a very persuasive salesman. By what he says and how he says it he can get people to buy what they don’t want or what they don’t need. How? Because our minds work in set and known ways. It’s like that question – “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” That stumps people because we are taught at school, in Comprehension, language, that you say either “Yes” or “No” to questions … so “Yes I have” means that you did used to beat your wife or “No” means you’re still beating her. The Stasi were very intrusive. There were millions of paid informants. Neighbour spying on neighbour and so on. All the permutations imaginable and the way that they sold that idea to the people, that it was acceptable, was to say “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear” and because of our thought structures it appears ostensibly true because one doesn’t want to say “I have!” It’s a statement that needs to be studied. One where you have to break the construct. It’s difficult to rally oneself and say “Civil liberties took millennia to achieve, blah, blah, blah… the loss of millions of lives and the committing of millions of so called “crimes” to establish. Benjamin Franklin said "They that give up essential liberties to obtain a temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Absolutely true.

Also, you can go further. Why not have a remote choke chain on everyone? If you don't murder or rape you'll be fine. But why give over your liberty and moral direction to anyone? You employ the state and not vice a versa. After a while the choke chain will be used against you when you go on strike or get angry - even when you are juste but are acting against an authority, a bailiff or a policeman or your government etc. Your liberty is being removed with your consent. Wake up because while you're dozing you put everyone else in danger because you become part of the herd when you're asleep.

Thanks. Straight from the heart. I am about to copy and save your comment to slap people in the face with. Hope you don't mind.

The remark: 'If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.' that privacy-haters use, make me angry and I generally my reply is "how much do you earn, when was the last time you had sex with your partner ( and your neighbour), who did you vote for? Your comments will perhaps have a better impact on them. Thanks.

Henri Gaudier
May 24, 2007, 06:37 AM
Thanks Oblomow. I normally get flamed. Use it. Spread the bad news. I saw that in Holland you have cameras that listen to people too! Not even surveillance state supporters know where it's going to end. First public but privately owned spaces i.e. shops and then simply public spaces. With face/walk recognition, dna & iris/fingerprint scanning, those new "X-ray" machines where you are rendered naked, mobile phone tracing, and the next generation of satellite car tolling, tagging, drone cctv, interception of all media - the only thing left is the brain and the body itself. I've seen research into spotting lies through scans of the brain and subcutaneous implants already exist. So ... dystopia here we come. The worst thing is how people accept it. 25 years ago when I was at school and there was the cold war we were told how terrible the East was because there, they watched you all the time and everything was criminalised. Sounds like the West doesn't it? Prison populations are greater than ever. Thousands of new crimes on the state books each year. Lesser and lesser crimes becoming imprisonable and more surveillance of our lives than EVER before.

Anyway, drifting from the OP. It's nice and sunny. I think I'll go for a walk with my cats.

xlii
May 24, 2007, 06:49 AM
"Google’s ambition to maximise the personal information it holds on users is so great that the search engine envisages a day when it can tell people what jobs to take and how they might spend their days off."

So what is wrong with that? Just do what GOOGLE tells you to do and you won't get hurt.

joepunk
May 24, 2007, 10:43 AM
Nice posts Henri Gaudier

I am for surveillance cameras in helping to catch a kidnapper or a red light runner etc.

Henri Gaudier
May 24, 2007, 12:34 PM
Er... thanks. I think.

You're for surveillance .... how very punk. Where do you live that you need cameras on the street to catch all the kidnappers? They must be easy to spot. They're the ones with sacks on their backs. You know, the sacks that are kicking and crying.

But seriously, if you accept something today, it will move forward a little further tomorrow. Ask someone old if it was ever in their imagination, vocabulary that "If only one day we could all be watched by the state. Then we'd be free .. be safe!" It wasn't. Read Orwell and the reception of 1984. It was universally seen as horrifying. Now we are living those times and if you're against it, there's something wrong with you! I don't know, I was raised by my grand-parents and so I have an old fashioned view of the world. One where the government shouldn't watch what you do, where you go and what you say, think and read all the time

Only the politically apathetic are safe in a surveillance world. Anyone holding opinions or who campaigns is in for a lot of ****** though. I knew some anti vivisectionists in London and when you walked down the street with them, just chatting, buying a sandwich, the CCTV cameras in Camden High Street would follow them/us all the way down the street. One after another. They were friendly types, just petitioners not anything more hardcore. I could go on but so much to do ... think about it Joe.

oblomow
May 24, 2007, 12:42 PM
Nice posts Henri Gaudier

I am for surveillance cameras in helping to catch a kidnapper or a red light runner etc.

I'm for tagging everyone and monitoring their location and record what they say. So everyone can prove their innocence when something bad happens.

Nuc
May 24, 2007, 03:36 PM
But seriously, if you accept something today, it will move forward a little further tomorrow. Ask someone old if it was ever in their imagination, vocabulary that "If only one day we could all be watched by the state. Then we'd be free .. be safe!" It wasn't. Read Orwell and the reception of 1984. It was universally seen as horrifying. Now we are living those times and if you're against it, there's something wrong with you! I don't know, I was raised by my grand-parents and so I have an old fashioned view of the world. One where the government shouldn't watch what you do, where you go and what you say, think and read all the time.
I definitely agree with this. It's frustrating how the gov slowly encroaches on our civil rights.

Nuc

johnee
May 24, 2007, 03:40 PM
Big Brother!

Who'd ever thought Google, not Microsoft et al, will become the nightmare mega-corporation of the future?

according to a myth, the meek shall inherit the earth.

google is pretty meek. they let their employees take their dogs to work.

i say go for it google, you're an all american company!

joepunk
May 24, 2007, 05:29 PM
Hey Henri Gaudier, I am not advocating any sort of totalitarian state.

Where did I say anything about "all the kidnappers" ? :confused:

I am just commenting on the occasional child kidnapping in a shopping mall/major public place. And I am also commenting on having to wait for the two or three cars that run red lights before moving safely. I have many times been pretty close to getting killed by red light runners.

Maybe I should have said I'm for some surveillance.

I don't think that George Orwell could have forseen what is now going on with regards to our private information being stored digitally. For example those many government/private corporation hard drives w/SS numbers getting lost/stolen.

mashinhead
May 24, 2007, 05:58 PM
Google has plans to take over the world.

Thank you, i've been saying that to anyone who won't listen for years!

Apple Hobo
May 24, 2007, 09:12 PM
Do nothing wrong and you have nothing to fear. ;)


Well...if I've done nothing wrong, I shouldn't be treated as if I have.

I fear 1984-esque authoritarian fearmongering (and the public's willingness to accept it) more than terrorism or whatever the latest fear du jour is.