Google claims to collect information in order to provide users with more “useful information”. This is relevant when you type in the search box or when you’re viewing advertising of products or services that would interest you. But where does the line really get drawn? Does Google read your information too much? The following sample may not shock you; but it certainly bothered me.
I was typing a message to one of my clients last week. The subject matter of the content was confidential; so I will make up an alternate idea to provide a legal example. My client desired a business concept proposal to be written in the online mattress industry. As I was typing the message, advertisements began to appear in my peripherals: Learn How-To Write Business Proposals, Buy Mattresses Online, Change Your Shirt Because Green Isn’t Your Color… Okay, maybe the last was an exaggeration, but not by much.
Now, don’t misunderstand me; I love Google. Google advertising has been beneficial to my business and millions of other organizations. However, it is also good to know just how specifically your ads on Google can be targeted! Furthermore, it isn’t very practical for Google to use information in any way other than for marketing purposes. In other words, it isn’t likely that Google will do anything with your information other than collect it from all of you devices so they can more appropriately target you for sales.
I understand the reasons for direct marketing and perhaps I am jealous of Google’s ability to delve so deeply into the minds and email accounts of their target customers. However, I read the policy and I came to a conclusion: I don’t want Google reading my mail. Google offers free services, such as Gmail, that are very useful and convenient. Well, not exactly free. It will only cost you some of your information (name, address, credit card number, name of your first born). It’s a relatively small price to pay for relevant commercials, SEO practice maintenance and your listings ultimately being displaced by those of the highest bidder.
I’m not saying I don’t trust Google. If the Google Corporation was a single person, I’d have them over for dinner. I’d have a drink with Google and shoot the breeze with Google. However, I wouldn’t let Google watch my children because I’d know that when I got back; I’d have to tell my son why he couldn’t get the 55″ TV with Wi-Fi access to the PS Network and Xbox Live & tell my daughter that she can’t have the Barbie Corvette and Dream House. Well, not until the holidays, at least.