You are not Google's customer You Are Its Product
The fear seems be based on the assumption that if Google is gathering all this information then it must be doing so in order to sell it: it is a profit-making company, after all. ‘We are not Google’s customers,’ Siva Vaidhyanathan writes in The Googlisation of Everything. ‘We are its product. We – our fancies, fetishes, predilections and preferences – are what Google sells to advertisers.’ Vaidhyanathan, who likes alliteration but isn’t so big on facts, doesn’t explain what he means by ‘sells’ (or whether ‘to sell a fancy’ could mean anything at all), but if he’s implying that Google makes the information it has about us available to advertisers then he’s wrong. It isn’t possible, using Google’s tools, to target an ad to 32-year-old single heterosexual men living in London who work at Goldman Sachs and like skiing, especially at Courchevel.