Who gives a stuff about Google tracking
This hub is in response to articles I have read recently concerning privacy on the net.
With issues that are hard to comprehend like tracking codes on the net there can be a tendency for fear-mongerers to take advantage of the lack of understanding of what actually goes on and for fear to overtake rational thinking.
For a start does anyone really care if others (like Google or Microsoft) have access to webpages visited - really, if your philosophy is to hide what do you have to hide?
Even sexual preferences are nothing to be ashamed of in these modern times - does anyone really care.
If you always have to hide yourself are you really living?
If you are suspicious of what others know about you does this mean you feel you are being controlled or have issues about control.
On the other hand, letting go of these suspicions may be the best thing you ever do to finding out that the world actually has your best interests at heart.
Wouldn't you want Google to find out your interests and serve more pages and ads relevant to you?
Is that really sinister? In my opinion, it's the opposite - it's actually helping you and in fact your self-realization UNLESS it falls into the wrong hands or if Google was corrupted - what are the chances of that (I don't know - let's hope it is well nigh impossible)?
If tracking is ONLY available to a few, than that would be unfair too, but you do not want this to fall into the wrong hands either so it would be best to leave the tracking to a trusted and secure and publically accountable authority or those who are doing the right thing - the white hats like Google - not black hats (to use an old internet adage).
Understandably, if it's your banking details that are publically available it would be a different story but IT'S NOT and wouldn't you want someone to be tracking a criminal who was trying to access these via the internet anyway?
Of course you would. We need police and intelligence people to protect our lives and sometimes this requires them to track the movements of others on reasonable grounds of suspicion.
Our society needs this protectiion so in my opinion tracking us all is good policy.
So though it is easy to make the emotionally charged leap to thinking Big Brother is watching everything we do, that there is no privacy, it would be irrational to be thinking this is necessarily a monolothic and sinister thing.
Banks use secure servers (you will see an extra 's' in the request. NOT http:// but https:// in the address bar - very simply this means the info is scrambled in communication and nearly impossible for others to access without the password which you will notice is NOT remembered automatically in browsers) .
With tracking codes - let's get this straight from the outset - we are not talking about malware or viruses or trojans or stealing of passwords.
Most sites you visit will have tracking codes and these are the web developers and owners way of understanding visitor interaction with their site - what they like and don't like - what works and does not work.
One of the first sites I started on the internet was on sitetracking codes in PHP. What does this give website owners access to?
It does NOT give you access to -
A visitors name or gender or eye-color or bank account details or what they had for breakfast.
It can help you find out where the visitor came from - what search engine (Google, Yahoo or Bing or direct) or country. It can tell the country and city or district the visitor came from. If you find a lot of your visitors are coming from Japan, for example, you might like to use a few Japanese words on your page.
The length of time the visitor stayed on your site can also be tracked but only if they visit more than one page as far as I know ( timing starts when the visitor goes to another page).
Well, very simply, tracking, is a form of business or website intelligence which every owner of a website or search engine would, if they are serious, take up as a matter of course to learn about their constituents.
With the information provided by using tracking codes, the website owner can see which pages are getting good attention and engagement etc...
It makes sense to know what is pleasing your visitors just as it makes sense to know what pleases your customers if you own a shop - part of any business strategy is to learn your market and understand the markets needs.
If you feel this is an intrusion on your privacy the internet may not be for you!