Today I read that Google is testing its latest feature for searches: Gmail results. Meaning that if you type something like “eBay great deals” you will get your eBay emails in the search results. Personally, I don’t see much use for it I mean, if I wanted to search through my emails I’d go directly to my gmail. I’ve been using it for years and it always worked flawlessly, so why would I need another place to search for my emails?
The thing is, this is another step from big companies that already own a considerable share of our data to merge our personal data with the rest of the web. (calm down, mail search does not turn your emails public, only you can see them.) Two weeks ago YouTube (owned by Google) started to ask its users to start using their real names in an attempt to decrease the amount of troll comments on videos by linking your YouTube account to your Google+ profile.
Slowly, your real life persona is invading the digital world and you don’t really notice it. The demand just comes to you in a very, let’s call it, natural way. You add your information because it’s actually fashion to have a Facebook profile, a Twitter account, Instagram, etc. – if you don’t have one of these then eventually someone will ask you “What planet are you from?”.
Now let’s gather everything up and what do these websites know about us? They know what you like, what you do, where you are from, where you live, which college you graduated on, who your friends are, where you usually go and who usually goes with you, how old are you, what you do for a living, where you work and ultimately – because most people do have their photo on their profile – they know who YOU are. There is no place on earth gathering so much information about someone like these websites do – unless you are a terrorist and FBI has eyes on you.
Google even knows what websites you usually visit since it tracks you – through the adds they serve on websites, AdSense & AdWords – so they can provide you with more accurate advertisements.
This might sound a little conspiracy-ish, specially if you are one of those people that spend countless hours on social networks, but there was a time when we were just another person walking around the park and nobody knew us, today, as soon as you hit that “Go” button, you put a big sign over your head with a considerable chunk of data about you.