A recent article from the Orange County Register reported on a lawsuit filed against Google, which has been scanning student emails. The company has admitted to processing student emails, using key words in the emails to trigger advertisements.
This article had quite a bit of an impact on me, but probably not what you think the impact is. Yes, I do believe that this is a major invasion of privacy as well as an inappropriate way to provide advertisements. However, what really got me was the fact that this company was Google. Google.
What would I do without Google? What would we all do without it? You may not think about it, but Google is everywhere. It has been for as long as I can remember. Actually, I recall writing a poem about Google in the seventh grade, when my teacher asked my classmates and I to write a poem about what we were thankful for Thanksgiving. I got a perfect score on that assignment; my teacher even commented on my clever idea and how true it is.
My thoughts while reading that OC Register article were mainly, “Oh no, what if I need to stop using Gmail? What if I need to stop using Google entirely? What am I supposed to do now?” That was really when it hit me how dependent on Google, my peers and I have become. Not only do we all have Gmail accounts, whether it be for class or personal use, we “google” everything. It has become a common verb, an action to take when you don’t know something, when you do know something and want to double check, or even when you have nothing to do and want to look at the funny searches that pop up in the search bar (yes, that’s actually a thing).
Hopefully, the issue of Google scanning of emails gets resolved. That company has become such a part of life that it would become a huge problem for everyone if we had to start turning from Google. Honestly, though, with the influence that it has, is it really that much of a surprise that emails are being scanned, that Google is watching us…