The Daily Mail (yes, I read the Daily Mail but I also read the Telegraph and Spectator) has run an article today on how Google tracks users in order to identify trends and demographics in order to tailor the irritating advertisements that pop up all over the web pages we visit.
Deep within Google’s massive databases, every site we visit, every search term we enter, is recorded and used to slot us into virtual pigeon holes. So this is news? All big organisations and especially governments spy on their customers or citizens. The digital age has just made it easier.
What made this article interesting is that it pointed out to me something I did not know, that we can access the information held on us, Google’s subjective view of our like’s based on our browsing history.
I briefly considered my browsing history and some of the search terms I had used, took a deep breath, and clicked on the direct link. This, apparently, is what Google thinks floats my boat:
Arts & Entertainment
Food & Drink - Cooking & Recipes
Jobs & Education - Education - Standardized & Admissions Tests
These are my ‘Categories’. Google have not made their minds up about my demographics stating that no demographic information is held for me. Funny that, half the adverts are served up in Portuguese.
Hang on a sec, I am supposed to be a roughy toughy, not a dear little luvvie. Am I really THAT boring? What about the shooting and fishing sites? What about London Pride and Scottish Distilleries? What about Piston Heads and all the other motoring sites? No wonder I keep getting adverts offering me on line degree courses or cooking holidays in bleeding Tuscany, I am 52 years old for goodness’ sake, what do I want a bloody degree for? I have just sold the house and will shortly be cooking for a living so it’s too bloody late to start learning now.
You can, though, add or amend information about yourself. I am going to enter my interests as fishing, shooting, fast cars and women of less than strict moral virtue and see what kind of adverts I get after that. That should be a giggle.