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How Google Tracks Everything You Do

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On Holistic Survival Show #95, Jason interviews Scott Cleland, author of Search & Destroy: Why You Can’t Trust Google Inc. Said to be the world’s foremost Google critic, we thought we’d get the lowdown from the man himself. Is Google really an information hoarder gone amuck or is this much ado about nothing? Here’s what Cleland has to say about Google’s insatiable data appetite.

“It is Google’s unique mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. They also have a uniquely deep belief in, and commitment to, artificial intelligence, so the more masses of datasets they can collect, the smarter they and their algorithms become. Google knows information is power. Google tracks most everything that goes on on the Internet and uses it to target advertising at users, to learn what no one else knows, and to create new services.”

Have you ever stopped to consider exactly how many ways Google knows about you? Here’s a short list:

What you think: Google.com searches reveal your interests, desires, needs, and intentions.

What you read: (Google News, Book Search, DoubleClick, etc.) Your news, commentary, and book viewing habits are all filed away in data storage triplicate somewhere.

What you watch: Ditto for viewing habits. (YouTube, Google TV)

What you write/receive: How many people use Gmail these days? Trust us, it’s more than a few. (Gmail and Google Docs)

Who you’re talking to and what you’re talking about: Google probably pays more attention to your associations than you do. (Groups, Buzz, Gmail, Voice, etc.)

What you plan to do and where you’re going: (Google Earth, Calendar, Maps, Streetview) Remember that this stuff doesn’t magically disappear when you’re done with it. Google records and remembers it. Forever.

Your favorite hangouts: (Android, Maps, Street View) You’re not sneaking into THOSE kind of clubs now, are you?

The list doesn’t end here. Google also has detailed files on your voiceprints, faceprints, medical history, financial worth, status, and purchases. Everyone knows that in today’s world, information is power. Given that fact, exactly how did this unprecedented centralization of power in the hands of the lone Internet superpower come to be? Listen to Jason’s interview of Mr. Cleland to find out more.

The Holistic Survival Team




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