They Know Too Much

Tonight I was surprised when I saw a banner ad with the name of my employer in it. Had the robot that created the ad known the significance of that name, it would not have bothered. But I loaded a Web page, and the Google-backed ad placement service provided personal data to the adbot, and there it was.

WTF? Then I realized I was using Chrome. I don’t normally. This eye-opening invasion is in fact what most people experience every day.

From a legal standpoint, I should be able to demand that Google delete all their profile information about me. But in fact I can only demand they delete the information directly related to my google accounts. Somehow, despite the depth of this profile, they cannot find a way for me to establish its ownership. Fuckers.

3 thoughts on “They Know Too Much

  1. Google? Fuckers? C’mon, already! That’s some kind of big news, already? So also act shocked about Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, and all the other personal info-raping corporations who exercise Imperial Carte Blanche to harvest the American population.

    Sir, I suggest you read the parable of the Fox and the Scorpion before you next invoke any of these digital ‘conveniences’ thinking you’ll partake of significant gains. Recall, as the scorpion told the fox as they were sinking under the water, “Don’t you understand why I had to sting you? I’m a scorpion. It’s in my nature!”

    So piss and moan about Google or the others. Lament that we are not the Europeans who have had some limited success in defending their right to protect personal information. Lament, while sinking under a flood of personal information harvesting.

    Victims. All of us. Call your congressman. Hear him retort, “Don’t you understand? It’s in our nature.”

    • While you are absolutely correct, note that this happened because I was using Chrome – which I almost never do. My usual browser actively interferes with trackers and browser fingerprinting. I also use a search engine that respects privacy (Duck Duck Go).

      The big tech companies, to comply with European law, made changes that are available world-wide (that was much simpler and safer for them than deciding who the law applied to and when). That’s why I can access the data Google has collected about me associated with my Google accounts. There is a ton of other non-anonymous data that Goggle et. al. collects, that by my understanding of the European law I should also be able to review and demand to have deleted – but there’s no channel for me to ask. Apparently “employer name” is one of the items in that data.

  2. In other news, Google’s latest search algorithm adjustments skew toward large companies and especially business partners. There was a time when I was a top-five hit for “Eggs over-easy”, and rightly so — no one has come close to my treatise on the issue, either for clarity or utility. But the corporate bastards don’t want to hear the voice of the everyday egg-frier, they want to amplify the voices of their sponsors. And thus have the egalitarian ideals of the Web been corrupted.

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