It was a miserable morning. The sun was in hiding, too embarrassed to watch what was happening down here on Earth. Sky news had taken a break from reporting Israel’s misdeeds in defending itself against Palestinian attacks, and was deep into the coronavirus and its disastrous consequences for the economy, tourism and mankind’s future. No chink in the gloom here. Perhaps a quick look at some comely young women, who had not had time to get dressed, would bring some cheer to the day. My fingers hovered over the keyboard, but, just in time, I remembered Milton Sirotta.
I had locked the front door. My wife was out. I would delete my browsing history. If asked how I spent my morning I would say I was reading the financial news, no-one would know that I had been looking at internet porn. But, thanks to Milton, Google would know, and Google would tell.
Milton Sirotta was just 9 years old, the nephew of Edward Kasner a famous American mathematician, when he came up with the word “Googol.” A Googol, sometimes spelled Google, is a number so large as to be incomprehensible, something like house prices in the UK.
In 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a search engine which they called BackRub, but in 1997 they changed it to Google to show that their search engine would provide huge quantities of information.
And, with Google’s entrance into an unsuspecting world, our privacy was gone. Google knows who you are, where you are, and what you are doing, at every minute of the day. Take, for example, Google Maps Timeline. This feature tracks your movements using data from your cell-phone and visits to Google web pages.
It will give you personalized information, including restaurant recommendations based on your eating habits, and suggestions for a faster way to drive to work. It won’t suggest a phone number for a comely lass, but that feature can’t be far off.
You don’t have to look for this information; every month Google will send you an e-mail with details of your activities; pictures of the places you have visited, and maps showing every twist and turn you have made.
This is not an invasion of your privacy; there is no privacy left to invade. With our total addiction to our mobiles, we have willingly given Google every last detail of our lives.
Is there a way to avoid this? I don’t know, why don’t you Google it.