Google: your, er, trusted advisor

From today’s FT.com

Google’s ambition to maximise the personal information it holds on users is so great that the search engine envisages a day when it can tell people what jobs to take and how they might spend their days off.

Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, said gathering more personal data was a key way for Google to expand and the company believes that is the logical extension of its stated mission to organise the world’s information.

Asked how Google might look in five years’ time, Mr Schmidt said: “We are very early in the total information we have within Google. The algorithms will get better and we will get better at personalisation.

“The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as ‘What shall I do tomorrow?’ and ‘What job shall I take?’ ”

Now why am I not reassured by this prospect?

The article goes on to discuss the implications of Google’s personalised search offerings. It also reports that

Autonomy, the UK-based search company is also developing technology for “transaction hijacking”, which monitors when internet surfers are about to make a purchase online, and can suggest cheaper alternatives.

One of the non-exec directors of Autonomy is Richard Perle, aka the Prince of Darkness.

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