How Much Should Google Know about You?

By Janet Driscoll Miller | May 24, 2007
More Articles by Janet

In an article in The Evening Standard today, the publication examines Google’s plans to collect more personal information on its searchers. According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt:

We are very early in the total information we have within Google. The algorithms will get better and we will get better and we will get better at personalization. The goal is to enable Google users to ask the question such as, ‘What shall I do tomorrow?’ and, ‘What job shall I take?

While I support some level of personalization, I’m not the only one out there concerned about Google holding much of my personal data. In a study by the Center for Survey Research at the University of Connecticut, 60% of search users said that they oppose the search engines storing personal data about them.

Google has been fortunate not to suffer any major security breaches to date, but just last summer, AOL accidentally released  a substantial amount of personal user information.  Can Google really ensure that all of that personal data is adequately protected? I don’t need Google to THINK for me. I need Google to filter information — provide the best data possible so that I can make that decision. But should Google help me decide which job to take? What to do tomorrow? Just give me options and let me decide that.

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