A few months ago my husband and I were talking about the moon and whether or not it rotates. I think it was because earlier in the day I had read in one of the kids textbooks that we always see the same side of the moon. We went back and forth about this for a few minutes. I happened to be holding my iPhone and said, as usual, I’ll google it. I proceeded to type in the search box “Does the” and before I could type anything else, it auto filled in “moon rotate”. This gave me pause and I told my husband. We then looked up about the moon, which, by the way, does rotate, but just at a rate so that we always see the same side. So then we started to ponder what had just happened. We decided to test it out. We brought up three more topics of discussion, individually. We talked about them for a few minutes each, all the while I’m holding my phone. Then I would open up Safari and start to type in the google search. We made sure it was always something that was not too specific, not something like “what color hair does my niece have”. The search would always start with “does”, “how”, “what”, etc. Of the three test conversations, two of them were auto filled in with exactly what we were talking about. I had forgotten about this a few days later and the kids and I were discussing something at lunch. I think it was something about Julius Ceasar. We came to a fact that none of us knew so I, once again, decided to google it. I typed in the first part of the question with the less specific words and it auto filled in the rest for me.
“While Google brags that no humans will read your emails, the entire Gmail program will involve extensive automated profiling of you as an individual. Google will be sharing the non-identifiable portions of your profile with anyone they choose. If the ownership of Google changes, or there is a merger, the entire personally-identifiable profile will be available to the new owners or partners.”
- get off of gmail
- switch to Startpage
- limit Facebook use to non personal information
- don’t ever “check in ” anywhere on Facebook
- turn off your location services on your smart phone
- for Catholics, don’t EVER bring your cell phone into the confessional, here is a great sermon given about this
We can’t crawl in a hole. Technology isn’t intrinsically evil and can be used for good. Use this technology to spread this information to everyone you know. Be aware, informed and educated. Don’t blindly trust. Some of the biggest corporations won’t allow people to take their cell phones into highly confidential business meetings for this very reason. Just because we aren’t rich and powerful doesn’t mean we don’t deserve privacy too. We need to take control of our own lives and stop being controlled. Whether it’s by our dependance to a GPS, addiction to checking email, texts, Facebook, etc or individualized marketing and propaganda meant to dupe you into thinking something, we must take control back. In your daily technological life we must constantly walk with the word “moderation” in the forefront of our mind.
I realize this is being published on April Fool’s Day, just so I’m clear, this is not a joke!!