It is a bit freaky how much information Google knows about you and I. The other day, I was speaking to a friend over the phone about getting a VOIP phone system for my office. I was explaining how it would be ideal for people in my office to work from their home on certain days when we have bad weather such as snow or freezing rain. I didn’t search Google online for any voice over IP systems, but somehow, I started getting emails in my spam folder about VOIP phones for my search engine optimization company – Hit Me SEO. How did that happen?
Being in the SEO world means that we spend most of our day running various searches online for keywords and phrases. If you were to look at the history of one of our employees on Google Chrome, you would see that we perform thousands of searches each and every day. It makes sense for Google to capture the searches, and use the information that we type into Gmail (it is a free service they provide, and can use your information as you agreed), but how would they possibly hear what I am saying during my conversations?
That is pretty freaky, but what happened next was even more bizarre. A few days later, I went to my mailbox for my company and found an advertisement for new VOIP phone systems. It is worth mentioning again that I did not have any interaction with anyone via Gmail, and didn’t search online for anything related to this type of phone.
A day later….I received several additional emails and ANOTHER pamphlet in the mail for this type of phone system. I know Google is watching when we use their products such as Google docs, Gmail, YouTube, etc, but are they possibly listening in on our phones and gathering data? I can’t say for sure why this happened, but I do have access to a Google voice number, and I do have Google installed on my Iphone. Is there a chance that by signing up for these types of services that the privacy policies I am agreeing to allows big brother to listen to everything? Recently there was some news about the latest televisions being able to listen and capture video, but how far along is this technology, and did we miss somewhere how we agreed to this?
Truth be told, there is a chance a search was done online for Voip phones, but I cannot see any indication of it in the browsing history.
For now, I can’t say for sure, but it is something that we will be monitoring closely over the next several weeks and testing out. If you use any Google products such as Gmail, you may also want to keep your eyes open for this type of monitoring. In the meantime, maybe you want to check out some of the interesting stuff I have learned about data collection over the last few weeks.
Warning: You may be a bit freaked out by what Google actually knows about you.
What Google Knows About You – Business Insider
6 Links That Will Show What Google Knows about You
Everything Google Knows About You – Washington Post