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How Google wants to know everything about you

Google wants to monitor the queries each individual taps into its search site to advise them on their life decisions

Google says it does not yet "know enough about you" and is stepping up its efforts to collect personal information on the web.

Eric Schmidt, the Google chief executive, said yesterday that the world's biggest internet search engine is still at a "very early" stage when it comes to gathering your personal data through the web. "This is the most important aspect of Google's expansion," he added.

He envisaged a day when Google would be able to advise its users on everything from their career moves to how they should spend their free time, based on the collected queries they tap into

Google already holds a vast amount of personal information about its users ranging from the contents of e-mail (from its Gmail service) to credit card details (through Google checkout, its online payment system). The information is held in a vast network of massive "server farms" the company's fleet of digital data centres into which it is estimated to have pumped billions of dollars.

Such information is key to success in the online advertising industry, the source of Google's massive wealth. The No1 aim is to build up precise portraits of individual consumers to better target campaigns.

As it seeks to broaden its information net, it emerged yesterday that Google is also backing a firm founded by the wife of Sergey Brin, the company's billionaire co-founder, that aims to help people browse their genetic information online.

Google said the investment was made as the start-up 23andMe's "goal of developing new ways to help people make sense of their genetic information will help us further our mission of organising the world's information in this new and important field".

Google invested about $4 million (2 million) in the company, co-founded by Anne Wojcicki in 2006.

Read complete artile at Times Online
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