What does Google know? A lot, about anyone who uses their search engine while signed in as a Google user. Got a GMail account? Who doesn’t? Every time you sign into your GMail, Google Calendar, iGoogle (is that like aye carumba?) or Google Docs, you are now a contributor to the unimaginable amount of data that the internet giant collects.
At this point, one hopes, even the most nieve users among us realize that the internet is not just about sharing information, but collecting information about you. The collection of personal data found especially fertile ground in the Social Media market. How do you spend your time? How old are you? What kind of shoes, t-shirts, books, and brands are you most interested in? These are all things we disclose through our searches, our “likes” and our user profiles.
Luckily, Google has at least made it easier for you to know what they know about you. Check out your Google Dashboard. It’s a place where you can see how you exist as a Google User and even erase your user history. If you really want to be off the grid and still have the benefit of the Google Search you can log out of all your Google accounts, and then go search, and no one is the wiser. But most of us won’t go to that extreme.
There may be no mystery about who we are on line, but at least we don’t have to stop and ask for directions every time we are lost. Who hasn’t used Google Maps?