HOME   |  

  |   ABOUT

NOVEMBER 19, 2007  More below: GOOGLE AGAIN

Cultural diversity in...Parma, Ohio

Woman carrying package on her head, seen in my rearview mirrorAs I was driving west on Pearl Road headed for school today I caught a glimpse of an unfamiliar sight. A woman was walking down the sidewalk balancing a box of something (groceries, maybe?) on her head. Here she is in my rearview mirror.

We see this occasionally on the Near West Side where there's a small community of immigrants from Liberia, but it's pretty rare in a western suburb like Parma. In Cleveland's largest suburb there are very few people of color, let alone Africans.

Or maybe it's time that I gave up my Parma stereotypes. Maybe it's more integrated and diverse than I give it credit for.

Maybe not. A quick check on Wikipedia lists 2000 census data: 95.67% white, 1.06% Black. But we can hope that it's getting more diverse, one box of groceries at a time.

Top   |       |   
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Further into the Googleverse

Google Notebook is so helpful in doing research on the Web that I set up an account for my Media Design class and showed the students how to save things to their own Notebooks. It's a great tool for collaboration.

Screenshot of Google HistorySo I'm completely sold on the value of Google Notebook, Google Alerts, and Google Maps even though I have concerns about how Google saves and uses all the data they gather about me. But dang it, their stuff works.

This evening I set up a homepage via iGoogle and out of curiosity clicked on Web History. Whoa!

They keep track of everything.

You can see, day by day, minute by minute, search by search exactly what websites you visited. Fascinating. Scary.

It's not shown here, but there's a calendar that lets you choose any day to examine. It's not hard to see how this pixel-trail could tell more about your interests than you might want to reveal. It's a sobering reminder of what information is already available to anyone with access to Google's databanks.

The yellow bar at the top shows how you can "pause" the recording of your history. You also have the option of deleting items from your Web History. Before you breathe a big sigh of relief, consider this statement from Google's Web History Privacy Notice :

However, as is common practice in the industry, and as outlined in the Google Privacy Policy, Google maintains a separate logs system for auditing purposes and to help us improve the quality of our services for users.

In other words, the information is still stored somewhere. And incidentally, Google in its Privacy Policy promises to only use this information for specific purposes, like, say, for example:

Providing our products and services to users, including the display of customized content and advertising;

Imagine that—using your search information to sell you more stuff. Your privacy is protected...except for when we want to sell you something.

Top   |       |   
AddThis Social Bookmark Button