Has the Google backlash begun?

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Google Zeitgeist

As the legal battle between Google and Louis Vuitton rumbles on, I started to think about how the online giant is becoming more like Microsoft every day.

Previously, Microsoft has always been the target of consumer criticism for its unwieldy operating systems and buggy updates. Over recent years however, as Google has grown and moved into new markets, it too has started to receive increasing levels of criticism.

I’ve never felt comfortable with the amount of my personal data that’s stored online. I wasn’t too happy to hear when Google planned to introduce ‘behavioural advertising’ to its mail service. You may think that viewing these ads in your inbox is harmless but it concerns me that Google stores personal data, including the videos you have watched on YouTube and every search query you have Googled.

News this month that the search engine giant can now track your visits to the thousands of sites that show its ads and then assign you to a category is even more alarming. Where is all this data kept and what else is Google planning to do with it? It claims that seeing adverts based on a person’s browsing history will improve their browsing experience – I’m not so sure.

By 2012, Google aims to create the ‘perfect search engine’. Google co-founder Eric Schmidt has stated that the real issue with achieving this goal is that they ‘don’t know enough about you’. I’m just not sure that I’m ready to tell them everything about myself.

Surely I’m not the only one who is concerned about this invasion of privacy? A quick search round the blogosphere has uncovered many comments from like-minded individuals who think that Google should drop its ‘do no evil’ philosophy. The question is, will it listen to these comments and curb its increasing big brother mentality?