It’s not wrong to be worried over your privacy, but you can’t be upset when you’ve handed your privacy over voluntarily. I make this statement in regards to the class action lawsuit accusing Google of violating federal and state wiretapping laws. The lawsuit states that it is wrong for Google to be scanning e-mails for information to create relevant advertisement for the user.
Google’s argument was a direct quote from a 1979 Supreme Court case Smith v. Maryland, saying that once you’ve involved a third party in communication, you lose legally enforceable privacy rights. Yes, you can argue that this case was before a time when technology expanded into mobile media, but it does make sense when applying it to today’s standards. Our email use or even social media use is no different than a simple letter sent via the post office.
The fact that Google does this is nothing new and they’ve made this clear to all its users as a trade for a free e-mail account. It really shouldn’t be expected that any information placed on the internet is of private nature and completely secure. Funding for a free service doesn’t come from nowhere.
But the Data Points Out I’m right!
We’re all guilty of harnessing certain information that best suits our needs. In fact, we can have several types of data and somehow find some sort of correlation between the two, but does the causation actually fit or are we just relying on the simple coincidence that makes our point?
The fact is, with many of the statistics out there we can find a correlation between the most different of things. I enjoyed how Dave Davies displayed on Search Engine Watch a Google trend between Greece and ice cream. I know your scratching your head, but when you look at it they both follow a very similar pattern. Unfortunately, in some advertisement this kind of coincidental data is mixed with sleight of hand, manipulated to prove a point and make sale. I’m sure somehow we can find information somewhere that finds a coincidence between Coca-Cola consumption and Converse shoe purchases.
As it was said in the closing paragraph “to sincerely ponder correlation, causation, and even coincidence with each assumption about SEO we make. At best, it will save you time and energy; at worst, it’ll force you to fully understand all the angles of a situation before tackling it.”
I agree that this is not only something we should do as an SEO, but as well as a general consumer and our daily intake of information.
Picture from The City Desk