Forget Big Brother, Google is watching you

Forget Big Brother, Google is watching you

In the tug of war over privacy rights, we are witnessing nothing less than the birth of a new era: the age of surveillance capitalism

One morning in April 2002, a team of data scientists at Google arrived into work to find that a curious phrase had topped the previous night’s Google search queries: “Carol Brady’s maiden name”. The queries had come in five peaks, each at 48 minutes past the hour, in successive hours.

Eventually, they worked it out: Carol Brady was a character in the 1970s sitcom The Brady Bunch. A question about her maiden name had been...

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