Have you ever realized that as you scroll down a webpage, all the ads coincidently have something to do with a topic that you just Googled, emailed a friend, or even liked on Facebook? This is not fate, it is Google stalking every search you make.
Whenever you search a topic, it’s tracked by Google and sent to the site of the link you have selected. But, that's not all that's sent. Your computer and browser information is sent to the link. This makes it easy to determine who you are. The companies of these ads can make profiles about you that can appear in unwished-for places such as insurance, credit and background checks.
Students at George Mason should be especially knowledgeable of this. Between homework, Facebook, blogging, email, and just surfing the web, the average teenager spends dozens of hours online each day. Google also saves everything you search. The information you release can come back to haunt you or end up in the wrong hands.
However, understand that Google only has access to this information when you are logged in to a Google account. When you became a user, you accepted their user/privacy policies and agreed to become a member of their services.
Mr. Steve Knight, George Mason’s instructional technology coordinator, said, “The media hype around Google tracking can remind us to be more aware of our digital footprint. Never leave the default privacy settings or at least know your options for privacy settings when joining a new service, be mindful of linking social networking services (creating accounts using Facebook or Twitter accounts) and remember nothing is truly hidden when it is on the internet.”
English teacher Mrs. Joy Wagener responded when asked about her feelings on the subject saying, "I understand what Google is doing and why they're doing it, but it's really scary that they know what I'm doing all the time."
Although it can be argued that Google motives for tracking have benefits, it’s important to note that they’re getting paid for every advertisement that appears via their own search engine. So they’ve created a way to follow your online behavior and display ads that are according to your interests.
Senior Claire Acosta said, “It’s creepy, but in a way convenient because they advertise things that are relevant to me.”
|< Prev||Next >|