Looking into the collected information on Google was an enlightening and slightly jarring experience. However, it should have been expected. As a search engine platform, Google hosts all of my unintelligent inquisitions, and unrestrained questions. It is easy to over-rely on Google, forgetting that every impulsive search is carefully documented for further ad targetization.
I was especially surprised at Google’s accuracy about my age, although not exact. I was not under the impression that my Google search history can be linked specifically to my age-demographic. However, after further research I discovered the age factor was entered by me when creating a Google account. This triggered a bit of a realization, as I understood the traceability of our data. Although it may seem anonymous, almost all activity on the internet is recorded somehow. In our society, using online services is inevitable and inescapable, and thus we must only hope that Google and other companies are adequately guarding our information.
Huge companies such as Google are entrusted to withhold our data, and ensure our protection. I, personally, have very little knowledge about data protection and security, and therefore rely entirely on Google to protect my information. This is acceptable if Google accurately and truly supports their claims of data safety (which I am unsure about). However, this is indicative of a larger societal problem. Mainstream consumers remain ignorant to the intricacies of online data protection, and therefore depend on external sources, and lack a method to verify our online safety. We must trust the few savvy individuals to defend our internet information. This places them in a position of power to profit from inalienable protection that should be provided to every citizen. Futhermore, it creates the ‘in’ crowd and ‘out’ crowd in the online realm, perpeutating inequality between race, income status, and age.