October 3, 2007

What does Google know about Me?

Google is the world’s top and dominant search engine and in this position they have been able to collect massive amounts of data about every single user over the years. Among this data is credit card numbers, names, numbers, locations, thoughts, hobbies, interests and almost any other information that is on Google. They have this capability because of a little computer component called “cookies”. No they do not take all the information that you search online and stick them into an oven and 15 minutes late out come cookies, cookies are information that is collected on servers that belong to Google as well on the computer being used that con contains all of this personal information listed above.

Google doesn’t just own Google.com, which is the search giant’s landing page, but they also own Gmail (a email program that almost gives users unlimited space to save unlimited emails), AdWords and AdSense (programs that place ads on other websites and every time a person clicks on the ad money is given to Google), and YouTube (the top video documenting, recording and storage website in the world). With all of these successful websites that Google owns the rights to there are also numerous other websites that Google can access information of their users at such as: Google News, Blogger, Reader, Feedburner, iGoogle and DoubleClick. All these sites are undoubtedly beginning to take over the Internet therefore growing the search giant’s revenue in stocks, in the actual company and in many other ways as well.

Google is a very interesting company. They choose to reside in their headquarters in southern California at a place names Google Campus where tons of people come to work everyday in an atmosphere much like many college dorms. In addition, 85% of the people that work for Google are under the age of 28. To me this seems like a good idea because the younger generation knows what the most popular things at the time are. By that, I mean, that Google is able to follow trends, activities, etc with hardly any research at all and with ease. One more interesting this about Google is that they have one of the highest individual company stocks in the world. Google grows at a rate that is incomparable to any other company in the world that is only over a search engine. The reason for al of this revenue: AdSense.

AdSense is an ad program run by Google and targeted towards website owners. With the owners interest in the program AdSense they get a small advertisement that is clickable on their personal websites advertising a designated product, service, etc. Every click or action that is made upon the advertisement gives Google money as well. Google is a genius! AdSense has been so successful that it is one of the main sources of revenue hat Google has. In short, any user of AdSense is giving their name, sites they visit, their interests and many other pieces of information as well.

Now, what does Google do with this information? Google does very little with this information. In fact, as of recently, other people that are not even associated with Google have done more with this information that Google has ever done with it. These other people just happen to be the U.S. government and hackers. As of recently, the U.S. government hasn’t done anything with the information but they have offered Google massive amounts of money if they were to give up all of the information that they have tracked. The reason that the government would like to obtain this information is because they believe those criminals, sex offenders and many other law breakers could be caught and taken out of the community with ease. This is very true. Hackers, on the other hand want to hack into the databases that hold all of the cookies from Google’s assessors websites and use that information to do more damage. Very few have been successful up to this point with accessing all of this information because Google always seems to be one more step ahead of the hackers. I suppose this is good since pretty much every person that has access to the Internet has used Google one time or another resulting in that person’s information being held. The information (cookies) is all held in Google’s giant Server field also located in southern California that spans acres upon acres upon acres and is growing nearly every day.

My opinion in all of this is that it is eventually a good thing. When I think about other people having my information I think to myself, “ That is a very scary thought.” But, Google is a very well known and successful company only looking to make life easier, more efficient, and successful for all of their users. Google already has a phone like the iPhone in process and it is rumored that the phone will be able to access all of the websites that the user has been to the most and these websites will load automatically without delay. I don’t think expansion is a bad thing and although it may be a little bit scary to know that Google is able to contact you on your phone, at home, on your computer and many other things, Google is not the only company that has the ability to do this. Almost every giant company in the world keeps cookies. Almost every company in the world combined could most likely steal you identity with ease…now that is just a little bit scary.

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