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What if Google Knew Who You Were Talking About... and Told Them?

Mar 17, 2014   [permalink]

Random musing of the day: Google knows a huge amount about what web sites you visit, when, and what you looked at. Would it be okay with you if Google also told the owner of those web sites who you are and each time you visited and what you did there?

Apparently LinkedIn does this.

Is it just me who thinks that's creepy? Would it be okay if Google did this?

It strikes me as very P.K.Dick-ian, and not in a pleasant way: "Hey, Pat, Google Mind Reader here, wanted to let you know that Sandy Smith was just thinking about you. Click here to see what they were thinking."

I don't use LinkedIn hardly at all, since I'm neither looking for a job nor hiring. (Knowing this, I'll visit even less.) Someone else mentioned this offhand on facebook, and not in a way that indicated this level of privacy invasion bothered them. (The actual question was, "If somebody you always liked doing business stops by your LinkedIn profile but doesn't leave a message, and you're unemployed at the moment, it's okay to send a quick and cheerful hello, right? It's not creepy unless you ask them for something, right?" The replies were generally of the nature of, "I wouldn't say it's creepy even if you DO ask for something." No? We have so little concept of privacy and personal space now that we should expect everyone to know everything we do and think?)

Would it be okay if Google told web site owners where you were each time you visited?

Would it be okay if Google took it a step further, and posted your entire browsing history publicly to the world, with your name and contact info on it?

Click here to see Sandy Smith's browsing history. Hey, it's okay; Sandy already looked at yours.

Just me, or is this a creepy trend that's crossed the line?

(FYI, I'm replacing the comment system with a new one here, so let me know what you think. You might as well post it, since I'll know anyway.) :)

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