Google and Privacy

In: Business and Management

Submitted By AlexaEllman
Words 981
Pages 4
Google and Privacy

Google, the popular search engine, has become an invaluable resource in the lives of many. The search engine’s ability to turn the chaotic warehouse of information that is the Web into a categorized and navigable tool has propelled Google to its current position at the heart of modern technological culture. Yet, Google has not been able to fly under the radar in terms of privacy. While its services are greatly valued, they are also the target of a significant amount of criticism. The right to privacy is a great individual concern and considering that there are over a billion unique Google users, the issue of possible privacy invasion is both an important and immediate one (citation). The privacy debate is complicated, however, by the fact that Google has deemed the traditional understanding of privacy invasion as outdated.
By providing a valuable service that users trust at the risk of possible privacy invasion, Google has changed the way in which one thinks about privacy invasion. Experts agree that Google has an ability to attract users’ trust and information based on the benefits of the service it provides. According to Kevin Bankston, Google is expecting us to trust it (Mitchell 1). This complicates the privacy debate in that formerly potential privacy invasion was neither willingly entered into nor beneficial in any way. Michael Zimmer credits the convenience of Google as the reasoning for users’ unwavering trust and disclosure (citation). Meanwhile, Helen Nissenbaum feels that Google racks in its users because search results are perceived to be legitimate (Nissenbaum 4). The value of Google is so appreciable that “completely opting out of Google’s data-collection practices significantly degrades the user’s experience” (Vaidhyanathan 89). Zimmer refers to the trade-off between privacy and service as a Faustian bargain – despite the…...

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