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Is Google truly watching us?

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Surveillance capitalism is a term first introduced by John Bellamy Foster and Robert McChesney in Monthly Review and later popularized by academic Shoshana Zuboff that denotes a new genus of capitalism that monetizes data acquired through surveillance.

According to Zuboff, surveillance capitalism emerged due to the "coupling of the vast powers of the digital with the radical indifference and intrinsic narcissism of the financial capitalism and its neoliberal vision that have dominated commerce for at least three decades, especially in the Anglo economies" and depends on the global architecture of computer mediation which produces a distributed and largely uncontested new expression of power she calls 'Big Other'.

She states it was first discovered and consolidated at Google, being to surveillance capitalism what Ford and General Motors were to mass-production and managerial capitalism a century ago, and later adopted by Facebook and others and that it uses illegible mechanisms of extraction, commodification, and control of behavior to produce new markets of behavioral prediction and modification.

Zuboff states that "the online world, which used to be kind of our world, is now where capitalism is developing in new ways" by data extraction rather than the production of new goods, thus generating intense concentrations of power over extraction and threatening core values such as freedom and privacy.

Surveillance
Capitalism Faults and Cures
Globalization
Google Analytics
Google Adwords
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Apps
Internet Marketing
Internet Privacy
Data Transfer
Digital Marketing
Sustainability
Human Rights
Adeshola Kukoyi
30 months ago

16 answers

2

The "watching" is not the issue it is the data that Google and countless others are collecting and how they safeguard that data they collect that is an issue. Think of the credit bureaus they "watch" us and collect our data without our consent then when there is a data breach our confidential info is then leveraged by the hackers for instances like identity theft and we pay the price. Laws need to be enacted with all of these data collection practices that if they collect our confidential data they need to be responsible for safeguarding it and the consequences of their failing to do so.

Frank Kovacs
28 months ago
Thank you, Frank, for sharing your thoughts. Your position on data surveillance vs security are quite germane. States are known to carry out surveillance as part of national security activities, however, the trend with non State actors doing the same could compromise individual, organizational and even national security concerns if not well regulated. Right to privacy could be threatened... - Adeshola 28 months ago
Data is the new money, it is used in several way for businesses purposes. As people deposits money with a purpose and agree on how to invest it, we should do the same with data. A deep undestanding of the regulation is needed. Let's see if the new EU GDPR will lead to any improvement in the future - Paolo 28 months ago
YES - Google is lurking and "watching" and selling - Dr. David E. 20 months ago
this is their job, to provide with better services they need to closely observe their stakehlders - Paolo 20 months ago
Do a search on G and China? - Dr. David E. 20 months ago
REALLY - I am not a GOOGLE stakeholde and my neighbors drove their G EARTH van out of the neighborhood- - Dr. David E. 20 months ago
"Watching" may not be the issue, now! What about the future? - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
How about Google earth? - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
This is a great 3D representation of earth and is improving - Paolo 19 months ago
AKA: Spying! - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
My neighbor's private drone can not fly over my home or airspace! - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
But,. Google earth can? - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Google has been discharging dynamic role providing necessary services and secure data management. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
Really - we just chased them out of the neighborhood - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Don't they abet Chinease communism and obliterate human rights? - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Ok. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
Thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
2

Whenever they say - Analytics ;) They are watching you.

Charu Gulati
19 months ago
Just they can't say this openly ;-) - Paolo 19 months ago
Can't agree more :) - Hitesh 19 months ago
Agee and they do admit openly - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Not everything and not too much, they know much more than they say - Paolo 19 months ago
Of course - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Or they say in such a language that you need to pay half of your bank to a lawyer to understand. - Charu 19 months ago
Agree - I think! - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Matter taken in positive way for development purposes, however Google watching through data solutions. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
Not solutions - problems! - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Very true. Analytics tools are spy. - Maya 19 months ago
Many thanks and agree - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Right comments. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
True DAT - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
1

Yes Google is watching us, other search engines, social media, online marketplaces, etc. are doing the same. We accept this every time we received suggestions based on the latest searches we queried. Sometimes it is beneficial, sometime annoying. Several tracking systems are in place, again sometimes we accept the conditions, sometimes they just run out of our control. The only way to not have an online presence is just to stay offline. Big data is the new online business.

Paolo Beffagnotti
30 months ago
Thank you for your thoughts, Paolo. Are there genuine ethical concerns to be mindful of; especially threats to privacy and freedom...? - Adeshola 30 months ago
Yes everyone is discussing about this concerns right now, just think about the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case. My point is if you are online is too late to think about 100% privacy, you can just understand and limit the leaks. - Paolo 30 months ago
Agreed - Dr. David E. 20 months ago
Google is a kind of a big ads company, it collects information and re-use this with several purposes - Paolo 19 months ago
No kidding; not to mention work in China - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
What do you mean? - Paolo 19 months ago
Feed a man - Teach a man - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
plus Google has to face Baidu as a big local competitor - Paolo 19 months ago
I was think about watching citizens and censoring the net. - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Big Brother 1984 - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
A kind of censoring is in place there as in other countries - Paolo 19 months ago
The number #1 is China. - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
"Do no Evil" = not. - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Then other countries such as Turkey, Russia, etc - Paolo 19 months ago
No = it was the motto of G - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Who is in social media all information open even secrecy is maintained ained - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
CHINA is the worse. G may abet for mere lucre. - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
India is now setting similar censorship rules too - Paolo 19 months ago
But not as many human rights violations - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
No different violations such as freedom of expression and talk - Paolo 19 months ago
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS trump AI - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
However google watching. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
Er. Jangyadutta Das,CEO,Consultant,Researcher, that's their job and added value, without watching Google could not be that accurate - Paolo 19 months ago
I do not want G "added value" - not for me - I am not a consumer - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
If you use it, you are - Paolo 19 months ago
I dont have it and do not use it. Thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
what do you use instead of G? - Paolo 19 months ago
Encrypted via proxy server via third party VPN via another proxy server via RPN - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA that's a good solution - Paolo 19 months ago
OK - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
1

Very short answer: YES.

Bart Groenewoud
30 months ago
Very short and clear response, Bart! Glad to hear from you... - Adeshola 30 months ago
Of course. Just do not give away your DNA to 23Me, Ancestory, etc. - Dr. David E. 20 months ago
David E. Marcinko MBBS-MD DPM MBA MEd CMP® good advice... - Bart 20 months ago
Thanks - Dr. David E. 20 months ago
So while in online it is needed to be involved with accurate and genuine information. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
Sure - Nigerian letters; spammers, spoffers, phishers, etc - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Nigerian not that many off late. Pilots of Russian and Chinese spam instead. - Bart 19 months ago
Interesting - thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Thanks. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
U R welcomed - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Interstingly enough, US on #2 spot: https://www.statista.com/statistics/263086/countries-of-origin-of-spam/ - Bart 19 months ago
Even #1 in this list: https://www.spamhaus.org/statistics/countries/ - Bart 19 months ago
Thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Also #1 country for both hosting of phishing sites (65%) and country of origin (36%) https://www.comodo.com/news/press_releases/2018/12/microsoft-paypal-google-targeted-by-phishing-campaigns-comodo-global-threat-report.html - Bart 19 months ago
Good info - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
N.1 but easier to work there than not in Russia - Paolo 19 months ago
Thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
1

Of course! Get all your tracking data from: https://takeout.google.com/

Christian Kameir
30 months ago
Thank you very much, Christian, for your comment and for sharing the URL... - Adeshola 30 months ago
DITTO - Dr. David E. 20 months ago
you can even delete your Google history and data but keep your Google accounts and just disable the activity log - Paolo 19 months ago
Do you really believe that? - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
not really, in theory it should work - Paolo 19 months ago
We live in the real world, dude. - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
And the reality is different, I know - Paolo 19 months ago
Thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Yes, it should be you should manage your data. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
DITTO but manage is the wrong word. - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Protection is a better and more accurate word - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Agree protection sounds more accurate, you can't manage all the data sometimes - Paolo 19 months ago
Many thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Thanks. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
U R welcomed - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Thanks - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
Agree - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
1

GOOGLE and "REAL" SEARCH ENGINES

An investor asked us yesterday: “Why isn't Google also working on a Neuroscience search engine like ContextualWeb?”

Here is what we answered:

“Google has no interest in developing technologies that will make search engines 1000 times cheaper. It will put in a high risk its most valuable asset which is the HUGE barriers to entry to the internet search market.”

NOTE: ContextualWeb = Search engines that mimic the human brain.

Any thoughts?

Dr. David E. M
20 months ago
Agree with you, there is no interest for Google to develop such specific technologies. Furthermore these could be interesting for a limited audience. - Paolo 20 months ago
Years downline however, it may become a strategic imperative - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Facebook is set to launch a “clear history” tool later this year - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
clear your cookies and the browsing history but maybe these could still be into Facebook servers - Paolo 19 months ago
OF course they are - u know better - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Yes Interesting for audience. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
Thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
1

Yes, Google is watching us. So as - Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Samsung, Apple and other internet giants.
Can you escape this - only if you choose to live without a phone and internet. Even then, they are "watching" your surroundings so you are sooner or later be impacted.
Problem is not being watched, the problem is what they gonna do with your data. I think its beyond your thought of "Capitalism". In China, they control internet and that is to strength their communist roots. Companies like Baidu in China watching you , and I am sure can use that data to strength Chinese government ideology.

The bottom line is - they watch you, they listen you, they trace you and they predict you. Its not scary until they try to manipulate you for their or their Boss's goals.

Hitesh Mathpal
20 months ago
Not on FB, Twitter, Apple, etc - Dr. David E. 20 months ago
Not perfect, but helpful - Dr. David E. 20 months ago
Agree. Every internet player is watching. - Maya 19 months ago
Many thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
The sense is just share what you want everyone to know about you. It is already tough to keep control of what other people is sharing about you - Paolo 19 months ago
Even here; on CURRNT! - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
yes sure thing - Paolo 19 months ago
DITTO - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Through social media it has been possible. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
Agreed - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
1

Google watching you with everything. From your search query to Android. And every internet player is doing such.

Maya Kharkwal MA, BEd
19 months ago
Agree, information collected is the new money - Paolo 19 months ago
Brilliant insight! - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
But, the concept is old - the method is new - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
and the method will keep changing in the future, this is internet - Paolo 19 months ago
THINK: neurolinguistics - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
We are also getting all our required information - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
Not required at all; voluntary and elective - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
and semantics - Paolo 19 months ago
OK - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Thanks. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
U R welcomed - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
1

Exactly Google is watching us and provide us data as per our eccentricity and also keep data on security and we want to delete that is also responding accordingly. So we should be careful about our activities and business when we are in online.

Er. Jangyadutta D
19 months ago
Agree and try to control what other people is saying about us. This is much more challenging - Paolo 19 months ago
Who really cares? - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Among 7.5 billion folks on the planet. - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
we never know, someone could for different reasons - Paolo 19 months ago
Most of these folks are just working and trying to make a living in the real world - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Definitely paolo ,we can't trust someone else to store our private data securely.Then the data won't be private . - Er. 19 months ago
No privacy any more = get used to it - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
I agree. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
1

Yes,Google is watching us.Not onlyGoogle but we are being watched by many other social medias.

Er. P.Das C
19 months ago
AGREED! - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
right, that is the way used to find and connect people - Paolo 19 months ago
Exactly - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Agreed - RUPAK 19 months ago
Right - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
Thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
1

Not sure? Google can tell you.
Which one of your contacts do you keep in touch with the most?
Google can tell you that as well.
Google knows about you… a lot actually. Every time you interact with any of the Google services (and there are many), while logged into your account, your actions are saved in a gigantic database. Before you freak out and phrases like “big brother” and “conspiracy theory” start popping into your head, think of why is Google collecting all this information. To serve you better.
The more they know about you, your interests, where you go, and how many people you are in touch with, the better ads they can serve you. After all, Google is a business whose primary revenue stream is advertising. The more relevant the ads are to you, the happier the advertisers, the more money Google makes. Win-win from their perspective.
Plus, you act in the same manner in your personal life. The more you know about someone, the better the relationship between the two of you. After all, your best friends are the ones who know the most about you (that is what gives them the title “best”). So no need to worry, Google trying to collect as much information about you as they can is not a weird and obtrusive action (although it seems like that at first). They want to get to know you better so they can serve you better.
How much Google actually knows about you? In reality, noone really knows (or is willing to share with the public), but you can find out a lot, if you only know where to look.

RUPAK R
19 months ago
Right, the key is to know where to look at - Paolo 19 months ago
No G = No problems - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
difficult to do this, the typical reply is "if you need something, just Google it" - Paolo 19 months ago
if you need something, just Google it = need critical thinking skills - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Yes it does need it - Paolo 19 months ago
NO - G uses AI = Humans need CTSs - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
0

And, if you are European, you get to ask Google to delete all your data from their index come May (GDPR).

Christian Kameir
30 months ago
Thanks again, Christian! Is there any development peculiar to Google services for Europeans or a new regulation that would be of interest to people around the world...? - Adeshola 30 months ago
I think that GDPR will be a universal standard as Google and all other providers with worldwide offer cannot reliably deduce the citizenship of their users - specifically if they are not logged in. - Makes sense? - Christian 30 months ago
Perfect sense! Thank you for the update, Christian... - Adeshola 30 months ago
HA HA Good one! - Dr. David E. 20 months ago
Good information. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
Agreed - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
0

Google knows a lot about us, for sure our preferences and interests, then some personal info too. Indeed you can submit personal information request removal but is still challenging to clean the search engine and prevent it sharing your info.

Paolo Beffagnotti
20 months ago
A pointless request; no doubt - Dr. David E. 20 months ago
You are correct. All information is with Google but you may delete if required. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
NOPE - it is retained by G - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
officially you could remove everything, officially... - Paolo 19 months ago
Unoficially - NOPE - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
So - still NO - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Ok with no ;) - Paolo 19 months ago
Thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
You can remove informations from your system and can request them to delete some information.But who knows how many servers they are using to store this information and its back ups. - Er. 19 months ago
RIGHT = no privacy or security at all - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
as for the Facebook clear history tool, you can remove data but this will still be backup on the servers - Paolo 19 months ago
Agreed - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
True. - Er. P.Das 19 months ago
Thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Ok,Thanks. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
U R welcomed - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
0

Be AWARE.

Well, certainly I knew that Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft were key players in helping to build a United Surveillance States, but now Amazon is  in on it, too.

Dr. David E. M
19 months ago
What is Amazon setting on this? - Paolo 19 months ago
May purchase an EMR firm - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
I didn’t know about this, thanks for sharing it - Paolo 19 months ago
No problem. Medicine and Health Care IT is not your space - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Thanks for the information. - Er. 19 months ago
U R welcomed - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Thanks. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
0

Yes.

Patrick Henz
19 months ago
Completely. - Bart 19 months ago
Totally - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Ok - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
0

Yes,they are watching us.They have all our information ,because we are totally dependent on apps and websites which are present and controlled by google.Now in this market data and in formations are more costlier than gold and diamond.

Er. B
19 months ago
I have no apps, no cell phone, no debit card, and no FB, etc - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
But you have mail id which created in gmail powered by google. and any way you are using browser even browser company also creating the data .In browser you also open your online banking , - Er. 19 months ago
NOPE = no google AND no online banking AND clean browser - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
I agree. - Er. Jangyadutta 19 months ago
Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA then how you manage your day to day activity with every transaction. - Er. 19 months ago
U R welcomed - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Right. I am agree with You. - Er. P.Das 19 months ago
Thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Thanks - Er. 19 months ago
DITTO - Dr. David E. 19 months ago

Have some input?