How have your perceptions of Google changed over the years?

Google has announced that it will begin tracking the web-surfing habits of users across all of its many services, and not give users the chance to opt out. Technology watchers say the change will allow Google to target ads more precisely to individual consumers. Today’s Question: How have your perceptions of Google changed over the years?

  • Steve the Cynic

    It’s looking more and more like Google is building the infrastructure for Big Brother.

  • Bear

    From a boutique serving its customer’s needs to a mega mass merchandiser vassal of its shareholders

  • Gary F

    Never was a big fan of Google because they we in cahoots with censors in China.

    But, I have an older laptop and use Google Chrome because it works best on older machines. I like Google Chrome, but now will need to switch to Firefox on all machines except my old laptop.

    And use Yahoo and Bing as my search engines.

    But, in the big picture, this is just the beginning, with technology advanced as it is, we are venturing into new avenues that will bring up new conflicts on a regular basis.

  • Rich in Duluth

    My perception of Google hasn’t changed. Google, as with other businesses, is not in business to provide a service. It’s in business to make money and will do whatever it can to make more money. The privacy of its users is not its concern, unless regulations require it.

  • Joel

    Saying that Google will “not give users the chance to opt out” isn’t entirely true. Your opt out is to not use their services.

    People can’t expect Google to offer their many wonderful services and not expect something in return. They’re a business that makes money targeting ads to their users. The more information they have about you, the better for them.

    Gary F mentions using other search services. But be aware, they want to collect information about you too. The only way to protect yourself on the Internet is to share as little about yourself as possible.

  • Mark G

    I use Google and Bing a lot, but Google is a little more broad-based. That being said, Google often causes “information overload”, giving me way more information than I really want……and sometimes the info isn’t very well documented or accurate.

  • JasonB

    I’ve always appreciated the simplicity of Google’s home search page and the speed of the initial search, which is still the fastest process on the dinosaur that is my nine-year-old computer. As long as their latest strategy does not affect their service, I’ll shrug and accept with caution that they are just like every other site – an ad delivery system.

  • david

    Really nothing has changed with Google besides it being a little more streamlined. For years now Google has known more about you then your spouse does. The scariest thing I noticed with them was after buying an android phone and connecting to my WIFI network at home with the phone’s GPS on, Google now knows exactly where my house is, not just a rough location in the Twin Cities via my IP address. That seemed like too much info that Google really shouldn’t have, and once they have it you can’t undo it. But over the years it’s actually been rather handy. When you search for a business it’s nice to have the top results being the place just down the street. If you misspell/guess at its name, Google says “don’t you mean this guy” and guesses, usually accurately what you meant.

    The average internet user doesn’t use, or even know of these other features involved in the new terms of service. There’s dozens of Google services. I found it a pain when I wanted to make an YouTube account, and had to do it separately from my Google account, then tie them together manually so you can have one log in and log in automatically. This seemed redundant even though Google owned both. Now taking advantage of new services should be automatic requiring only a button click.

    If you are worried about your online identity, then don’t post personal stuff. Other then that once your personal info gets out there, it’s there for ever regardless who had it originally. Getting rid of it is like trying to get pee out of a pool. At least Google doesn’t make it as difficult to change your security settings as facebook does.

    My biggest qualm with Google is their involvement with the US chamber of commerce. I’m still trying to figure out if they are trying to steer them in the right direction from the inside or what. Don’t be evil….

  • GregX

    I Googled Googling then posted the live results to FaceBook with a link to a YouTube video showing how to find Wikipedia articles on effective sorting of data in Google. I got an untrace-able call from Julian Assange (rhymes with blancmange) telling me to knock it off . I was using up critical bandwidth he needed to post his defence for defending his posting of secrets that other people gave him.

  • david

    GregX did you read a lot of Dr. Seuss as a kid?

  • James

    No change in perception.

    I still really wish I’d bought a lot of their shares when they went public.

  • Alison

    There isn’t anything in the announcement I didn’t assume Google and others were already doing. They already present ads that are unquestionably tailored to me.

    Does anyone really use the internet with an expectation of privacy? That seems like a bad assumption to me.

  • Gary F

    Wow, only 12 comments.

  • Dr. M.I. Wright

    My view of Google is no different than the other companies that have insider access to Washington.

    These folks get more than a fair shot that the rest of us do not have. As a trader, I can not buy and sell at the same low rates that Warren Buffet gets nor the tax loopholes he enjoys. His huge holdings in BSNF railroad ships oil by train, a much more risky and environmental polluting venture than oil transported by pipelines like Keystone.

    Google is no different than G.E. and GM that received huge government sanctioned deals. Is it any wonder that Immel of GE paid no income tax last year yet he is appointed as the Economic czar????

  • Ricky Rocket

    I was wondering how you were going to twist this into an anti-democrat rank there Joanie Jet… er…. kimMN … er …. Dr. what?

    I am curious about this government sanctioned deal Google got. Please tell us more!