Web search companies collect and correlate lots of information that you voluntarily hand to them in order to deliver search results that are most relevant to you. I first wrote about this over a year ago in a post called Saving Private Browsing. By knowing a little more about you, they can give you merchant and restaurant results that are local, and search results that are in the context you probably intended. This is clearly a mixed blessing, though. First of all, it robs you of the serendipity of the unexpected (see my blog post Web As Echo Chamber) that can come when you search from outside your customized bubble. More than that, though, the collection, storage and correlation of lots of data about you can feel creepy as was found in a recent Pew Internet study. In that study, 73% of respondents said that they would "
To expand on this thinking, consider the implications of a search engine company such as Google that also may handle your email (Gmail), your work and personal documents (Docs and Drive), and your casual video entertainment (YouTube). Correlating all that information could result in a dossier about you that might be eerily thick.
Thanks for reading! Blogs work best with active participation. If you enjoy this blog, please give it a +1 and leave a comment. Share it on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook. More readers will drive more discussion.