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
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.com.
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
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
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.
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