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Published on April 9th, 2011 | by Alvin

20

The cash in confession

When was the last time you used the Google search engine? This morning? And what were you searching for? You’d rather not say, is it? Well, do we have news for you?

Perhaps the most electrifying, if not alarming, news to have emerged in the recent past is that the gargantuan Google servers have stored within them every single search ever conducted on Google. And, given that your IP address is logged with every search, your searching could quite easily be traced back to you, if you are still using the same hard disk that you made the search with, or you still have on your computer the Google cookie that is theoretically designed to last till 2038.

Look at it this way: 33 years from now, your 25-year-old son could find out that you were looking for escort services tonight, long before you met his mother.

Of course, if you chuck your machine and the hard drive, it puts paid to that. But if you invoke a Google search through your gmail account, consider yourself well and truly tailed.

Apparently, a poll shows that nearly 70 per cent people were not aware of the Google records or cookie. And about 40 per cent didn’t give a damn.

But the privacy waters have been muddied again. And the old Big Brotheresque question of the fact that there really never was and will never be ANY privacy on the Net is back.

How much of anyone’s privacy is really at stake, anyway? And why is there no concern about the voluntary abdication of privacy by billions of Netizens across the world?

One of the most astonishing impacts of this media called the Net is not just that it has completely changed the nature of piracy, it has done the incredible job of permanently altering the potential of personal privacy. Take blogs, for example.

For those who came in late, a blog is a weblog, a ‘diary’ you keep in cyberspace, which you update at will, a hundred times a day if you so wish. At this point, there are millions, if not hundreds of millions, of blogs on the Net, featuring opinions, ruminations, fulminations, ripostes, rejoinders and repartee. Your epitome of a free and untrammeled forum of free speech… blah blah blah.

Enter human nature and the perverse exhibitionistic streak that infests the human species. People are ‘logging’ and ‘recording’ their private lives – their follies, their foibles, their hang-ups, their relationships, their past, their present, their future, their exes and their nows, for all the world to read. Essentially, those secret little diaries we wrote long after the day was over and hid in the bedroom, those little black books we kept under lock and key, those skeletons we padlocked in the closet… are now a click away. And it is all available for comments, observations and rejoinders, every comment posted and published religiously right alongside the blog.

Remarkably, many of these bloggers do NOT elect to make their blogs private – an option available to every single blogger. In fact, ratching up a record number of (verifiable) hits is an enthusiastic dynamic of one-upmanship that scurries in tandem with the blogging phenomenon.

Notches on your personal blogging gun, if you may call it that.

A Google search (blogs on personal lives) happily directs you to over 42 million of such blogs.

But what’s more fascinating is that many of these private logs feature – hold your breath – advertising.

No, I’m not taking about blogs ON advertising. (Google ‘blogs on advertising’ and you get an astounding 126 million hits.) That’s not the issue. The juicy thing is that there are blogs which have nothing to do WITH advertising, which feature a million topics and honest-to-goodness advertising. Links you can click on that lead you to all kinds of sites that buy and sell all the things you usually buy and sell.

In fact, the giant Google service, AdSense, formalises it all and helps you host advertising on your blog! It is one of Google’s prized money spinners and is subscribed to by millions of ‘advertisers’ and ‘sellers’ alike. An indication of exactly how successful it is is the fact that you are now, by US tax laws, required to declare your income from AdSense.

Put one and one together and you can turn your private life into a brand new media. Suddenly, the principles of advertising apply. The more fascinating the blog, the more it will be read, the more likely readers will return, the more likely a click on a cleverly constructed link With RSS feeds, people can choose to be alerted to a blog update, which essentially means the ‘media’ alerts you to the latest ‘programming’.

Fact: The blogger, of course, could earn good money with every click. Would you sell tickets to your bedroom so that a passing stranger can watch you make love to your wife? No? You are one of the last ones left standing, pal.

Imagine the irony of it all: On this side: arms are being wrung in outrage at ‘invasion of privacy’ and righteous indignation is being expressed at Google’s storing every single search ever searched on Google. On the other side, happily disinterested in the brouhaha, salacious details of personal lives are available for reading in the hope that your reading may end up in cash.

We now have not just a new media, but an astonishingly focused media, rich in revenue possibilities.

But that’s the irony of it. Imagine the chaos if the Catholic Church announced that audio recordings of your confessions were to be made available as down-loadable podcasts. Unthinkable, isn’t it? Apparently, if you yourself did that, for a little coin, it’s another matter.

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20 Responses to The cash in confession

  1. Komal says:

    Nor did i knew about it..!!!! i’m surprise and thinking that never thr is privacy for anybody…. everythin is somehow is tracked…!!!!!!!!!

  2. mikeross says:

    Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

  3. jijo john says:

    now a days everything is done for better income or profit , so even our privacy is sold out…………..feeling so bad that even the profit making companies do this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. jijo john vj (10mba60) says:

    now a days everything is done for better income or profit , so even our privacy is sold out…………..feeling so bad that even the profit making companies do this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. susanth.g (10mba52) says:

    it is really surprising to know the fact and many of them must avoid pasting their private life on net.

  6. anaskallingal.10mba04 says:

    it is a wonderful fact that Google can say about how we are more than our parents,family,friends and who says i know him very much.so tomorrow the conduct certificate will be given by Google not by institutions right.

  7. anand says:

    Sir is there any chance that the other 70% of the people when they get to know about google records and will they find a other search engine n move on with it that doesn’t store any of their record on net.. What will be the position of google when such a new search engines are introduced?

  8. raj krishnan, 10mba35 says:

    it was a shocking news that our search in the google was recorded for a long period.. this was very informative and we all need to look for a new search engine that doesnot store our records…

  9. revanth kumar , 10mba39 says:

    this was a new information that google search engine is storing the records for more than the years we think. This attitude of google should be changed otherwise slowly but surely other search engine will take the supreme position.

  10. SOORAJ R P (10MBA44) says:

    I really surprised while i read this blog because for 33 years the search history will be saved and stored by the Google. There are lot of search engines other than Google, but most of the people are using the Google search engine. The Google need to take care of this initiative seriously, otherwise the preference of Google search engine might get decreased, and will lost there supreme position also.

  11. diju chandran says:

    tatzz a shockerrr…..but what about the other search engines…??

  12. Eldho Varghese says:

    i never knew about this ,sir … is there any other search engine that helps us keep privacy? if everyone knows about it , i guess Google would have 2 face severe consequences !!

  13. D Krishna Vikas says:

    Its good to keep up the search records sir so tat we can track a person easily .. as if those informations are available to everyone then this may be called as a social website.. as google+ can claim this records for their members which can take google+ to the top…

  14. mithun.puthalath 10mba26 says:

    it is a wonderful facts,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,sir any another search save our privacyengine

  15. nicholas nithin abraham says:

    sir, this is just amazing google have to find some method to solve this.datas shouldnot be kept for longer period.

  16. Shiva Nadar (10mba28) says:

    Normally i use Chrome,recently continuously for one week i was going through automobile websites….suddenly Gmail started showing me advertisements related to all the cars!!!….now thats interesting!!…google knows everything about me!!

  17. srijith (10mba48) says:

    it is really threatening to know the fact . and all people must be aware that their searches are recorded over years.

  18. Shameerroshan(10mba41) says:

    It is a new information for me. The google have to change its history keeping method to maintain privacy..

  19. james makkil 10mba19 says:

    shocking news thank you very much for the news…

  20. alex joseph 10mba02 says:

    incredible google..!!!

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