Everyone is telling me to turn off my google search history today. Some questions maybe you can help me out with:
- Why is it a problem if, say, the search engine guys share my searches with the youtube guys? They’re all under the same umbrella anyway.
- If they’re sharing it outside the company, then that’s bad. But why would they do that? That’s their main competitive advantage, right?
- What does “turning it off” really mean? Will they throw away all my past searches? Will they stop saving them in the future?
- Why is there a deadline of today? What does that really mean?
I’m not looking for a fight; I’m seriously confused about why this matters. Believe me, I get the icks from GOOG just as much as anyone, but it feels like these horses left the barn years ago and have gone out and made new baby horses somewhere else already.
It’s not the sharing that I have a problem with; it’s their keeping of it. I have a big problem with data aggregation - the process of collecting seeming irrelevant pieces of information that when put together paint a remarkably personal picture of the subject.
Remember that article from a few weeks ago, how Target was able to infer that a woman was pregnant just from the purchases - or change in purchase habits - she made? That’s what I’m talking about.
And if Google’s policies change in the future to something nefarious then they have a lot of valuable infomation of mine that I no longer control.
Thanks, Shane, that’s very helpful.
So, presumably, if one objects to their history storage, not only would one want to throw out the existing history, but then press the Pause button and never unpress it. And if I fail to throw it out today, I will never get another chance to throw it out. (Assuming they really honor my request, but that’s a different discussion.)
Still not sure it bothers me, but at least I’m better informed. Much obliged!