Google knows who you are – but you can easily stop thisCurrent affairsFeature of the weekScience & Technology
Google. The $200 billion company who is slowly monopolising every online need, from email, to entertainment, news, reviews, maps and, of course, online advertising. Google has faced a great deal of controversy recently over privacy issues and are currently facing a number of lawsuits over privacy infringement. Google, who uses a greater number of servers than any other web company, to process more searches than any other search engine, can follow and track you online. Information about the sites you visit are stored and collated by Google. This is all done simply in the name of advertising.
At the moment, the demographics that Google is able to predict are patchy and often mistaken – but this is something they are working to change. As the Internet giant that it is, Google can collate information from more places than any other browser – collecting information not only from your online searches, but also from your email, from YouTube, and from any of the other 57 Google services such as Google Books, Google News and Picasa Web Albums.
Most interesting of all, you can find out who Google thinks you are. Every advertising category that your online movements have placed you within is listed on Google’s Ads Preference Manager. You can remove and edit these categories and use this function to increase your online privacy settings – but needless to say, Google does not flag up how to access these pages. They are, in fact, rather difficult to find. Also within this page, is your predicted demographic.
If you want to retain some degree of privacy, click on “Opt out” on the left.
Watch this instructive video to learn more