Ducking Under the Filter Bubble

By May 1, 2012Blog, Technology
duck duck go

Google is omnipresent: it knows who we are and where we live. But do we really understand the extent and pervasiveness of its knowledge?

Complex algorithms determine what we see during our internet travels, via searches or newsfeeds. Yet often what we don’t see is just as important to us getting a more complete picture or challenging our ideas.

The Filter Bubble, published in June 2011, draws attention to an artificial bubble being created  in which we are sheltered from everything except what the search engines and sites think we should or want to read. Here some eye-raising examples are explained by its author Eli Pariser.

Google’s recent changes to their privacy policy effectively enable the company greater ability to track across channels giving them increased capacity to sell and market their products. Google argues the changes implemented will ultimately improve the product for the user.

The public are becoming more concerned about their rights online. New start-up engine, DuckDuckGo has recently been gaining attention and exponential growth in traffic. They are claiming to have “Way more instant answers. Way less spam and clutter. Real privacy.”  They discredit Google with no holds barred attacks here and here whilst aggressively pushing against privacy invasions and the so-called filter bubble.

This could mark the beginning of a new era of anti-tracking software increasingly demanded by users.

The use of personalised data has become the backbone of internet revenue, mainly via advertising, which begs the question of how ‘alternative’ products like these will become commercially viable?

How serious a threat do you think internet tracking is to you?  What measures do you take against being tracked or filtered?

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