When I was in college, I read Badenheim 1939 by Aharon Appelfeld. It's the story of a fictional Jewish resort in Austria. During the summer of 1939, the "Department of Sanitation" begins to visit every single home, asking oddly detailed questions that people quickly answer, seeing nothing amiss. The book ends with the town being carted off to a concentration camp, having made the job of the Department of Sanitation infinitely easier by their willingness to answer such personal questions, giving the Nazis exactly what they needed to more efficiently send them to their deaths.
That book has always haunted me and after reading this article by Wes Fryer on Google History, I was reminded once again of how much information we are giving to a single organization that may or may not have our best interests in mind.
Of course Google History is being sold as a great service to you that allows you to get more personalized results, find sites that you visited previously but didn't bookmark and track personal search trends (apparently I'm big on searches on Mondays and Tuesdays--the weekends? Not so much). All of this is true--it IS kind of interesting. But at the same time, it makes me nervous to think that my every search is being recorded. In the hands of Google, that may mean nothing. But in the hands of others, that could be a real problem.
I'm not sure how I feel about this, except that it makes me a little uneasy. That may sound strange coming from someone who champions transparency as I do. But still, there's something that doesn't sit well with me on this. . .
Help me think this through? Am I just being paranoid today? Or is there something amiss?