Google Now, Privacy, and a Better Internet

Matt Cilderman of Seeking Alpha recently discussed the rise of Google Now, the service's potential, and its effect on our privacy. He writes, "In Google's '2012 Update from the CEO,' Larry Page explains the importance of one of their free services, Google Plus: 'Imagine how much better search would be if we added… you. Say you've been studying computer science for awhile like me, then the information you need won't be that helpful to a relative novice and vice versa. If you're searching for a particular person, you want the results for that person - not everyone else with the same name. These are hard problems to solve without knowing your identity, your interests, or the people you care about… Google+ helps solve this problem for us because it enables Google to understand people and their connections…This kind of next-generation search in which Google understands real-world entities - things, not strings - will help improve our results in exciting new ways. It's about building genuine knowledge into our search engine'."

He goes on, "Implicit in this idea is that we will trade our personal information and privacy for help navigating the digital deluge of the modern Internet. Earlier in the update, Page explains their goals this way: 'I have always believed that technology should do the hard work - discovery, organization, communication - so users can do what makes them happiest: living and loving, not messing with annoying computers!...People shouldn't have to navigate Google to get stuff done. It should just happen.' As part of this effort, Google also changed their privacy policy last March, so they could combine the information they have collected from their over 60 free services and use it to improve the user experience. This means more accurate search and advertising, but it also cleared the way for Google Now."

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Image: Courtesy Google