Is Google Watching Me?


Remember Nancy Drew? My middle school idea of happiness looked something like this: wasting away an afternoon on the top of my bunk bed under a warm blanket with a glass of milk, protein bar, and a Nancy Drew novel at hand. 


Eventually though, Nancy Drew got old. No, I don’t mean her fifties fashion or seventies slang. I quite enjoyed reading books from across the generations, laughing at the funny terms and aaaahing at her flawless style. I mean that after reading through almost the entire original series plus quite a few later renditions, I began to realize three things: 

1. If a questionable character is driving in a black sedan, it is most definitlely the bad guy. If said questionable character is driving a convertible, he or she will turn out to be harmless after all. 

2. If Nancy Drew almost dies, either her boyfriend or her father is sure to be close by ready for a rescue.

AND (the most absolutely true across every single book in the series) 

3. If Nancy Drew has a hunch, she is correct. Every. Single. Time. 
I wish my hunches were like that. 

But I digress… 

In high school I had a hunch that google was evil. I resisted using google email for a while, but eventually gave in (resistance is futile). Now I’m finding out that shying away from google products is pointless anyway. Not only does google screen emails and information on their own platforms (can you imagine the portrait they could piece together between google analytics, google docs, google adsense and adwords, google widgets, and google street view?) they can track you by IP addresses and connect you to every search you ever conduct in their search engine. 


According to USnews.com, they also have the ability to track you while you are using firefox, chrome, youtube, and any android phone (apparently their operating system is deeply imbedded into the phone so everything you type, tap, and touch is tracked). They were fined over 20 million dollars for hacking safari and tracking users on all sorts of iOS devices as well. 

Of course, most of their activity is technically legal. Remember that privacy policy your barely scrolled through before signing up for gmail? Yeah, it is in there. A google executive was quoted saying: 

We are protected by our Terms of Service agreement, which in turn incorporates our Privacy Policy – legally binding contracts that are easy to access on our website. We realize that almost no one has ever read these documents, but, hey, no one ever reads their mortgage documents or credit card contracts either, and they’re certainly valid. Our agreement states that when you use any of our products or services – even if you’re not aware you are using them – you agree to let us track you. It’s that simple.”

That might explain why the ads you are seeing on the side of your web searches are creepily related to the email you sent your cousin last week. YES, that does happen. 

I promise I’m not paranoid. I’m not going to buy a storehouse of guns and anticipate the day google decides to complete their work of total world domination… However, I found this great website called gogoduck. It is uncluttered search engine that doesn’t track you at all. 

Here is a great minisite about it: http://donttrack.us


I just thought I’d try something new for a while. Finally, a place where I can ask all my embarassing questions in peace. It is not like I’m leaving google forever. As I began considering that idea, I realized it is harder than you think in this day and age. I use google plus for chatting with my friends. My business, volunteer community, and fellow students collaborate using google docs. I store most of my written work on google drive. Goodness gracious, even this blog is hosted by blogger, which is owned by google!

In other words,


if my blog disappears… you’ll know why. 


Author: Susanna

I'm Susanna, a 20-year-old Christian girl incorrigibly addicted spontaneous adventures. My first dream was to become a pioneer. Unfortunately, I was born a couple centuries late, so I've decided to read, cook, run, and travel the world until my time machine is finished. You'll mostly likely find me getting into trouble and/or eating licorice. I am currently blogging the misadventures of a middle-school teacher in training. Come join me on my quest to become the next Ms. Frizzle!

3 thoughts on “Is Google Watching Me?”

  1. We're addicted to convenience, but it's deep than that. The web is where we live. Think of how difficulte your life would become if you were locked out of your Google ID. Thus, Google constitutes a new sort of government.

    Like

  2. I'm not at all worried about google tracking/owning everything…but I AM happy I've decided to move to wordpress where I will own my blog. *nods* No one can steal it from me. And it is kind of creepy that I get adds relating to what I've emailed about. o.O But I guess this is the internet? If we don't like it, we leave? AND I CAN NEVER LEAVE. *hugs google even though it's seriously creepy*

    Like

  3. Yeah, realistically speaking I won't be living without google anytime soon either. Interesting to think about the possibilities though. In fact, my lil sis is writing a dystopian novel about it. Perhaps that is what got me on my toes.

    Like

Leave a comment. Make my day.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s