google not so alert

It stands to reason that the books you read might reflect your personality. Who hasn’t gone to someone’s house for the first time and made a beeline for their bookshelves?

It’s a form of socially acceptable snooping for clues about their likes and dislikes or, in the case of a new boyfriend, possible serial killer tendencies. Personally, I’d find the absence of any books scariest of all.

But would you actually presume to read a person comprehensively based on a Georgette Heyer novel and an ancient guide to tickling trout?

Lately I’ve been curious to see Google is interpreting me via my emails, web searches and all the little pieces of digital DNA I send out daily.

The average internet user has 736 pieces of personal data collected every day by service providers.

This information is used to tailor ads which are then bounced back to them.

As a journalist who works from home I fancy my internet behaviour is not typical. How many people have googled Ted Bundy’s favourite book, Heinz tomato sauce, Woornack aged care facility in Sunshine and Australia’s per capita consumption of mushrooms in the past 20 minutes. None!

But did I really warrant an ad for incontinence solutions?

Why they’ve even got the dog figured wrong.

An email I sent to my partner about the dog wanting to be picked up and cuddled while I was working threw up an ad for “stopping aggressive dog behaviour”.

Is this the page where the genetic algorithm eats itself ?

How apt if the antidote to loss of privacy is too much information.


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