Sunday, April 7, 2019

Google and Me

This is damn fascinating.

On Friday, I had a meeting on the campus of Berkeley University. I was a few minutes early and while walking to the campus I passed a stamp and coin shop.

I spent a few minutes window shopping. There were some interesting currencies in the window from periods of hyperinflation. There were also numerous stamps.

The window was full and I probably spent about 5 minutes at it but I didn't go in the shop.

I had my Samsung smartphone with me that has Google's Android operating system and it's linked to my Google account that includes my Google Chrome browser. The location feature was on.

Now, I am seeing Google ads featuring stamp auctions on the internet.

Here's one:

I have written before that I don't mind Google serving up ads of things its algos think will be of interest to me. On the other hand, it is really important to understand Google's tracking capabilities.



  1. Google data collection is bittersweet, it is helpful and creepy at the same time. After days of researching printers on the my laptop I said to my wife "you wanna go to Office Max, I'm gonna go get a printer!" I have a Android phone and use Chrome almost exclusively and have location allowed on all devices. In the car Google maps opened itself with a pop-up question "are you going to Office Max on Veterans Parkway? Offering directions is helpful but how did it know?

  2. Bob,

    I have the Google rewards app on my phone. Every so often you receive a survey and are paid a few cents, up to a dollar, for responding.

    Almost to a "t", I'll get a survey whenever I've been to any shopping location, like a shopping mall. They'll ask if I stopped at a particular store or stores and then what I did inside.

    It is interesting how this works, but for a few free digital movies a year, I'm willing to answer their questions.

  3. RW people don't have a clue at the capability and dont want one or its the Matrix all over.

  4. The problem is that the option to not accept being tracked is slowly going away. Apps are starting to demand that the location services be turned on or they refuse to function. I don't want to be tracked but at some point I will probably be forced out of using various technologies entirely because even though there is no reason to track me for the stuff to work I won't be given the option not to be tracked.