back to article Google wants to really get to know you

Google wants to know what you are thinking. Erik Schmidt has, after a couple of quiet years, started talking again about his ambitions for the firm to be able to answer questions like "What shall I do tomorrow?", or "What job shall I take?" Since most people don't know what they are thinking from moment to moment, we have to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or is it Uncle Sam who wants really to know you?

    It may sound really paranoid, but what if Google is a nice face to some new US security apparatus, or at least funded partially by US Goverrnment?

    Let's think about it.

    - Free e-mail

    - Free software like Picasa and Earth

    - Free web based office software

    - Free calendar

    - Free desktop search

    - and more free stuff funded by ads in a search engine?

    All this information stored from all users in servers situated in the U.S.A.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ask someone else


    Just as good as google.

  3. Dan

    Can't you just lie?

    Surely the reasoning behind google offering its services for free is that the user submits information which can then be used to sell them something. Until google has a way of verifying what its users tell them is the truth...anyone not wishing to give too much away can simply tell them porky pies. Can't they?

    Even capturing the data must be fraught with difficulties, given the infinite idiot factor involved with allowing joe public to submit their own content to the web (facebook, myspace, flickr et al).

    And ultimately, what no-one is asking here is what kind of person is going to rely on a the web to make their decisions for them, once the initial novelty has worn off?

    The very concept is a load of tits.

  4. PH

    Data mining

    No matter how good their algorithms, at the end of the day the analysis will be done by wet-ware in grey suits.

  5. gabor

    RE: Can't you just lie?

    Dan, you're not serious, are you? I mean if this thing ever becomes a product, probably hundreds of millions will rely on it, and sue google when they are suggested to take a walk while raining. Hundreds of millions.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Can't you just lie?

    You can't lie about your search interests unless you don't use search. And you won't lie about the additional info They request, unless you're willing to have a sub-optimal user experience. If you're willing to entertain either of these options, you're already in the minority -- and 99% of the iPod generation will just say "whtev."

  7. Adam

    RE: Can't you just lie?

    Can you lie all the time when you are searching? Wouldn't that mean searching for stuff you are not interested in? If you are ill, searching for information on a different disease?

    Not all data is asked for explicitly through a nice form where you can choose what you put. After a while, if you use Gmail, use a personalised Google search page and so on, they will collect lots of valid information about you and, depending on how clever they are, work out who you really are, whatever you put when you sign up.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surf Anonymously

    Can't we use something like Ghostsurf to hide us from Google's version of Dick Cheney's Total Information Acquisition.

    Anyway, I always use dogpile as my search engine. Then it's dogpile submitting searches to Google, Ask etc. is it not?

  9. Nick


    One sentence that I've used before and no doubt will use again:- All your data are belong to us.

  10. Ed


    I'd be happy with this, if the data was safe from governments. If its not, then I'm a bit worried.

  11. Michael Birks

    Re: Well...

    Ed Says: "I'd be happy with this, if the data was safe from governments. If its not, then I'm a bit worried."

    Someone's never read William Gibson. Or Peter Hamilton.

    In most places Corporations have more immediately deployable resources, and, frankly, more motive to (mis)use the data.

    Uncle Sam's (or Auntie Helen's) hands are no less safe than those of Ono-Sendai or Event Horizon.

    Although if Julia Evans wants to stop by to discuss it in person, for sho.

  12. Max Vernon

    Bollocks to the lot of ya...

    If you don't think they know the load on you already then you're gullible. TIA has been happening for a long time, and as for google being a "kinder, nicer" corporation, has there ever been a larger load of bollocks ever propositioned by anyone, anywhere?

  13. Lathem Gibson

    Is this where I type for the doogler?

    Someday the entire database is going to be filled with nothing but Eastern European porno profiles, the ramblings of people who don't even realize they're transmitting, angrily demanding their records be "taken off this adwords bullshit," and crazy religious and political people hoping their ALL CAPS AND POURLY SPELT MANIFESTOS will bring on a spontaneous conversion.

    Kind of like Usenet is now, in other words. Nothing to worry about.

  14. George Brown

    Can't you just not use all the personalised stuff?

    I just use google as purely a search engine, because I find the personalised stuff a bit pointless. Surely all they can get from me is a list of regular or irregular searches connected to one of millions of IP addresses? And since I use a couple of computers at work as well as my home PC, the data's not really complete anyway?

  15. Paul

    Google Wants My Information?

    Too bad I'm not giving it. They don't need to know my business, though I think I'll use theirs less. It's funny; in a show called 'Northern Exposure' a supposedly insane man tells the town patriarch that personal information is constantly being acquired by corporations and the government, and when the patriarch disagrees, the other man rattles off a string of supposedly private quirks to the great horror of the patriarch. Me? I make up information for everything, e-mail accounts, websites and so on. My family, personal life, tastes, etc. are no one's business. I encourage everyone to lie or simply ignore surveys, registrations and things of that nature.

  16. Register Reader

    Why would you even be bothered?

    "I'd be happy with this, if the data was safe from governments. If its not, then I'm a bit worried."

    Seriously, why does it even matter? Unless you're a terrorist of course. Oh noes! The government knows the day I was born! AND they know I like big tits! Aieeee!!

  17. Chet Dowling

    Misdirected mindset.

    Google does not want to know what I am thinking.

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