Google’s outsized influence on how earthlings use the interwebs is enormous. The search engine giant’s overall business is advertising— not free software you can use. The business model requires Google to gather user information which is used by advertisers to sell you more goods, to influence your thinking, to manipulate your actions.
That’s what advertising does.
Free software that does everything you think you need to do is how Google accomplishes its mission. Gmail is a perfect example.
Check out this headline from Liam Tung:
Google uses Gmail to track everything you buy online
If you use Gmail, and more earthlings use Gmail than any other email system, the be forewarned that Google reads it.
Google puts all your online orders into a single page using purchase receipts stored in Gmail.
Hey, come on. That feature is just a convenience. Google’s Gmail simply organizes messages properly by identifying receipt email and putting it into a folder for easier tracking.
Uh huh. Sure.
Google is keeping tabs on all your online purchases by tracking receipts that are emailed to your Gmail account.
So, what does Google do with all that information?
We don’t use any information from your Gmail messages to serve you ads, and that includes the email receipts and confirmations shown on the Purchase page
Whew! That’s good to hear. I was afraid Google might use that information to, you know, send me ads or manipulate my behavior.
What’s the deal with receipts being dumped into a folder in Gmail?
To help you easily view and keep track of your purchases, bookings and subscriptions in one place
Yet, all that information is stored as part of Google’s position as the largest purveyor of Big Data. Yeah, it’s a thing. Big Pharma. Big Government. Big Data.
Google Ad Chief Prabhakar Raghavan:
Whoever’s leading the market [in five years] will be the ones who are actually the most trusted. If we can maintain that trust, then we can remain a market leader. If we don’t, it’s a question.
Google wants you to trust Google’s playful, colorful logo and brand.
Should you trust any company that is part of Big Data? Do you trust Big Government? Big Pharma? Eliminating anything on my Mac, iPhone, or iPad that is Google related was absolutely easy. Using a browser that stops advertising and trackers is crazy easy.
You’ll see us continue to try and roll out more major innovations. But at the same time, curtail the amount of data that’s collected and stored.
Already Google has more data than it needs for most of us, so curtailing data collection doesn’t impress me because Raghavan said nothing about how personal data is used.