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There’s a lot of hubbub about online privacy these days…

January 18, 2011

Around the office, occasionally the subject of online privacy comes up. People often express discomfort with the amount of information that companies like Google have about us. This is a valid concern.

The thing is, pretty much the only reason these companies keep track of this information is so that they can try to sell you things. Or rather so they can sell ads directed at you.

Google knows a lot about me. I use Gmail. I use Google Reader and Google maps almost every day. I use Google’s Chrome web browser. I have Google’s operating system on my smartphone. By this point, they ought to have a pretty clear sense of who I am. They should probably know that I work for FCNL. They ought to at least have me tagged as a liberal and a pacifist somewhere in that giant database of theirs.

So it makes you wonder exactly what we’re all worried about when ten minutes ago I went to queue up the audiobook of Jane Austen’s Emma on my phone and Google displays an ad for…

That second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet.

I mean come on, Google. I’m a liberal listening to a Jane Austen audiobook. Isn’t there some organic yogurt you could try to sell me?

One Comment
  1. January 19, 2011 1:23 am

    Because you’re a lib, they sent this to you to make you mad, and they did.

    An alternative explanation is that the geeks have a sense of humor.

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