I came across an infographic entitled, ‘Fear Google’, yesterday. I first spotted it on imjustcreative, who in turn credited the source as onlineschools.org.

Using bold red colours and imagery of a laughing devil, the infographic warns of the power of analytics and user data. Step by step, it takes you on a journey through the process of how Google comes to acquire user data.

The infographic highlights international government requests Google received to disclose user information between July 1st and December 31st 2009, (the UK government requested details of 1,000 users); as well the specific data Google collects from, for example, a Normal Google Search, (query, IP address, country code, domain name, browser) verses a Google Personalised Search (content analysis of visited websites).

What’s the story here? Google knows everything about you, Google has unlimited power and Google is everywhere. IMHO big deal.

Let’s play devil’s advocate. According to ‘Just How MASSIVE is Google, anyway?’ another infograpic on computerschool.org, you would need 1.2 million trees to facilitate the amount of paper needed to print out the 24 petabytes of information Google processes daily. At least human privacy loss is the environment’s gain.

Then there’s the Christchurch Google Person Finder, the free tool helping people caught up in the New Zealand earthquake. In this instance human privacy loss becomes the facilitator to reuniting loved ones.

For better and for worse, Google has become bigger than we can comprehend. Here’s a final thought to make the mind boggle:

If it took you one minute to search each page on Google it’d take 38,026 years to look at them all. It takes Google 0.5 seconds, tops.

fear google

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