Google Says You Are In Charge

    May 29, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

All the fears being sparked over Google’s dominance in search, along with its land-grab of DoubleClick’s data mined consumer information, are really just an illusion.

Google Says You Are In Charge
Google Says You Are In Charge

Personalized search is the key to freedom when it comes to using Google. The company’s Peter Fleischer, global policy counsel, said the search giant’s policy’s put the user in charge of what they share with the company.

His op-ed piece appeared in the Financial Times, where Fleischer discussed the function of personalized search, and the challenges in finding a middle ground with its services.

He discussed the concept of context as it applies to how people search. Fleischer cited the example of searching for Paris; one searcher may searching for a romantic European getaway, while another could be looking for love life gossip about a certain hotel fortune heiress.

The more personalization people permit Google to have, the greater relevance their search results will have for those users. That’s where the quandary takes place, according to him:

The question is how do we deal with this challenge? Stop all progress on personalized search or give people a choice? We believe that the responsible way to handle this privacy issue is to ask users if they want to opt in to the service. That is why Google requires people to open an account and turn on their personalized search functionality.

Though people can turn personalized search off and on as desired, the option to do so is what has been questioned: Why should Google keep data for any reason? Fleischer said there is so much information coming online each day, “more targeted and personal results can really add to people’s quality of life.”

In other words, better living through Google.