Dear Mr. Gleick
After reading your article “How Google Dominates”, I must say I am rather disappointed in how little I realized my information is being exposed on the web. As far as I am concerned, I am nothing but a part of Google’s big test to enhance their online advertising. In your article you state, “Seeing ads next to your e-mail (if you use Google’s free e-mail service) can provide reminders, sometimes startling, of how much the company knows about your inner self”. From a personal standpoint, I did not know how much these companies know about me just from my recent searches and cookies on Google. The data that Google is able to retrieve from us and sent to the advertising company its scarily accurate. After reading your article I must say that the advertisements I do see online are very similar to what I search about sports and wellness. This is similar to what Facebook does because they track users’ information by the pages they “Like”. Our advertisements are geared towards the interests we show in an online social platform.
Your article “A Customer Service Nightmare: Resolving Trademark and Personal Reputation in a Limited Space” brings up an interesting point about online privacy. You talk about how almost anyone can view our personal identity online. Although it is hard to prevent everyone from viewing our online identity, there are steps we can take to decrease the risk of being seen from people we do not know. For example, on Facebook, users can change their privacy settings to only be seen by their Friends and not the public. This means employers would not be able to search you online and find your Facebook. However, the problem with online is privacy is that a lot of these social platforms make it very hard for people to understand how to change their settings. Therefore, people end up having a large exposure to their online identity.