Google knows too much about you – says Frida
Editor’s note: Frida Ghitis is a world affairs columnist for The Miami Herald and World Politics Review. A former CNN producer/correspondent, she is the author of “The End of Revolution: A Changing World in the Age of Live Television.
Who wants to read about what Google plans to do with all that information it has about us?
I, too, clicked “Dismiss.” That’s because the very idea of considering what Google knows about me can give me heartburn. And if that happens, I may want to Google “heartburn,” and then I’ll wonder if my insurance company will find out that I was searching “heartburn,” or, worse, that one day I will apply for a new insurance company and the side effects of having considered what Google knows will result in a denial of coverage. But I digress.
When Google announced its new policy, lovingly explaining its reason as “our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google,” the authorities in Europe immediately told the Internet leviathan to put off its March 1 start date until European Union officials had a chance to review Google’s new quest for beauty and simplicity.
Europeans, it turns out, are much less trusting of invasions of our electronic privacy than Americans are. Americans have an intense aversion to government intrusion. If the FBI wanted to examine Google searches, the left and the right would come together — the ACLU, Tea Party, liberals and libertarians would raise their fists together to fight for freedom of privacy. The Supreme Court would join in, as it did in the case of GPS surveillance, and conclude the people have a right to privacy, a right against any “unreasonable search,” as the Constitution says.
But in the case of Google’s latest move to consolidate user’s data, however, most Americans paid little attention.
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