Saturday, February 13, 2010

Google is Freaking Me OUT

At first I found it comical, reading the suggestions that Google lists when I started typing. (Who dat?)

But then I realized that they were following me. No matter what computer I was long as I was logged into my account. See below. Notice the "remove" next to the listed search topics. These are all things that I, or someone on my computer have searched for...

The "where" is what initially tipped me off. A couple of weeks ago a colleague called me to ask if I knew how to change something in Excel. I did, but the solution required hitting the "Alt" key. Trouble is, he was using a Mac. Mac's apparently don't have alt keys. So I Googled it. At work. NOT on this laptop. Additionally, my boss made a weird joke that was sort of based on the song "Home on the Range" but we couldn't think of the words. So I Googled that too. At work. NOT on this laptop.So I decided to see what else it took from work. The hanging light question is, in fact, something I searched for here at home on this computer. The others, however, were things I searched for at work.

I guess in this day and age I shouldn't be freaked out by the fact that Google can remember me based on my account. But somehow, it does freak me out. If I searched for those things on my own computer even, I wouldn't be freaked out. I understand cookies and tracking codes and all of that good stuff...but I wasn't even on my own computer. What else are they tracking behind the scenes? What else are they holding for a rainy day?

I'm not usually one to feed into conspiracy theories and to get freaked out about big brother keeping an eye on me. This is largely due to the fact that I really have nothing to hide. But somehow, it just feels weird that Google is remembering what I searched for no matter where in the world I searched for it...

Anyone else think this is weird?


SilverNeurotic said...

It's a little weird, but kind of funny that technology is so "smart" that it can cater to your personality...if that makes any sense.

Rocketstar said...

It is kind of freaky for sure but technology will continue to amaze us until it merges fully with humans. Eventually, if this planet exists long enough, man and machine will merge into one, it will happen.

Rocketstar said...


katherine. said...

one of the aspects of Google which makes it so unique and wonderful is the same which makes it so dangerous.

everything you do connects to everything else you do.

having been part of their beta testing group for over a decade I have recently been slapped pretty hard with that realization.

when "WAVE" came out I was one of the first 100,000 the contact list associated with me (which I did NOT add to at the beginning) included people I have had no contact with in over five years. And people my daughter hasn't had contact with in over a year whom I have NEVER had contact with or heard of.

Google corrected this. However not before those connections were exposed to us.

EVERYTHING you have ever done is stored somewhere.

I am a big fan of Google. I have a great deal of respect for their company and for their incredible technology ....but I say...

be careful
be very careful.