About Eiler Communications &Social Media 03 Sep 2010 10:42 am

Where is Googling Going?

Where is Googling Going?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt had a lot of people’s wheels turning after his interview with the Wall Street Journal, suggesting young people will one day be entitled to their names upon adulthood to escape the uninhibited comments and unsavory photos of their younger years posted on social media sites.

As a young adult studying PR, watching what you post on social media sites was always stressed to me in my communications classes. Some friends of mine use fake names to escape being found on social sites like Facebook or Twitter. But the real question is how can you escape from an image?

Google already has the technology to recognize faces. According to David Petrou, staff engineer at Google Labs, it chooses not to do so out of concern for privacy issues. Since Google has the technology to connect your image to information about you, it’s only a matter of time before it is used on the average individual.

“I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time,” said Schmidt. The real issue is going to be how comfortable our society will be with sacrificing privacy for instant information access. We live in a time where what is posted on the Web can be linked to our geographic location. Apps like Mologogo can be downloaded to your mobile phone allowing you to use GPS to track where your friends are in real time.

Currently, Google has three general areas of business – search, advertising and applications (apps). It is most known for its search capabilities and Google AdWords (a pay-per-click system which allows you to create and run ads for your business quickly and simply). Google also has numerous apps like Google Calendars, Google Docs, Google Analytics and Google Talk.

With technology’s ever-changing nature, Google is looking to find what’s in store for the future of search. However, search is said to be slowly fading into the background with all the social media platforms and mobile phone apps that take users where they need to go without using a search engine. In the interview, Schmidt expressed his to desire to be one step ahead of search by providing users with recommendation technology. “They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next,” said Schmidt.

In order to do that, Google would have to collect enough information about you to not only know what you do for a living, but the daily habits of your personal life as well (in addition to tracking your location in real time of course). It’s tough to say how society will feel about mobile technology having the power to direct our behavior. On one hand, you could have your mobile device reminding you to pick up the milk you almost forgot; on the other hand, it could result in a bombardment of targeted ads as you turn every street corner.

Ashley Smith

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