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SHARED NEWSLETTER FROM ERIC BARGER GOES WITH JAN MARKELL ABOVE VIDEO
Amazon and Google vs. Privacy and Security
By Eric Barger
Have you ever searched for something using Google or other search engines and then immediately noticed that advertising begins to appear on our screens, trying to sell us the very products or services we had just searched for? These ads then continue to appear before our eyes for days or even weeks. Employing the top commercial programmers and utilizing vast computing resources, internet entities such as Google aggressively scour our internet searches for input to be transformed into personalized “side-by-side” advertising aimed specifically at us when we again use their search engine or the pages of their advertising affiliates. Is it a nuisance, or a bother? Sometimes. However, it is pure capitalism at work. After all, we are using their search platforms to find whatever it is we are looking for and, contrary to the perception of Millennials who’ve been taught that they should never be confronted with bothersome inconveniences, those search platforms didn’t just magically appear on the internet.
This is not a defense of Google. Far from it. Instead, it is to point out that when we choose to enter information on a Google platform of any sort, particularly when logged into a Google/Gmail account, what we key in can, in theory, be sorted, logged, stored, and used. I add that no one should somehow feel secure just by citing the privacy statements, either. Google, who, according to http://www.statista.com, now handles 86.87% of all internet searches worldwide. Marketing powerhouse, Amazon, the other company mentioned often in this report, will have netted 44% of all internet commerce in the United States in 2017 (38% or $149 billion in 2016) says http://www.recode.com. Both have extensive policies and good, legal-type window dressing, which upon reading, makes a person feel as they would when answering the door to hear, “Hello. We’re from the government and we’re here to help.” Knowing that one or both of these behemoths has virtually all of one’s life history and information, including various searches and purchases, is not going to help those who are prone to worry when trying to sleep at night.
Now, besides PC’s, tablets, and smart phones, a new type of computer is becoming part of the fabric of homes around the planet. By now, a majority of Americans, and certainly many around the world, understand the promoted uses and appeal of the Amazon Echo and Google Home units. The uses of the Echo and Home units are many and the appeal is simple convenience.
But where this is leading is beyond troubling!