Monday, September 04, 2006

Google's Got Ears!

Google's latest addition is a pair of ears. Perhaps more than a pair...according to this article, Google is aggressively working on software that would leverage your computer's microphone to eavesdrop on you, and play back relevant ads:
The idea is to use the existing PC microphone to listen to whatever is heard in the background, be it music, your phone going off or the TV turned down. The PC then identifies it, using fingerprinting, and then shows you relevant content, whether that's adverts or search results, or a chat room on the subject.
Am I the only who's getting scared? What's next? They already log your searches, follow your blog (I use Blogger), they track the sites you visit via adwords, the email you write via gmail, etc. and now they want to be a fly (with ears) on the wall in your home! And the sad fact is that most people won't have a problem with it, in the interest of having a more intimate experience on the net. But at what cost? Can't we have our cake and eat it too? Can't we have the personalized experience we desire on the net without revealing every detail of our lives? Absolutely - from a technical perspective. The best minds in the identity world have put together a number of theoretically feasible solutions, unfortunately dollars drive advertising over security and anonymity. I think we'll get there some day, but not before our homes are invaded by Google and their likes.


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