I’m a member of Google’s Opinion Rewards program, where they throw a few pennies at me in return for filling out surveys. They’ll add between 10 cents and a dollar’s worth of credit to my Google Play account in return for filling out surveys. These credits can be used to buy music, books, apps, or movies. It’s pretty cool.
Yes, I am fully aware of Google’s motives here. They want my data so they know what types of advertisements to put in front of me. It’s called “targeted advertising” and it makes a lot of sense. Advertisers will pay Google a lot of money to serve their ads to specific groups, and this leads to more “clicks per impression.” Amazon and Facebook do the same thing. Lately I’ve noticed fountain pen ads on all sorts of random web pages I go to. Targeted advertising at work.
Most of Google’s surveys are related to shopping habits. Today, however, I received a survey about my ability to move about my home unencumbered. My initial thought was, “Oh, they must have an advertiser who manufactures devices for people with disabilities.” I answered the question, got my $0.20 in credit, and thought to myself, “Gee, pretty soon Google will know more about me that I know about myself.”
Then it hit me: The realization that this could all be setup for a darker, more chilling reality.
What if targeted advertising is just a disguise for something far more sinister? Is Google trying to engineer replacements for all of us? Could they potentially gather enough data to reconstruct our DNA? Do they want to replace us with Googlized clones of our current selves? Are we destined to be search-friendly pod-people?
Seriously, is this how the Body Snatchers scenario is going to go down?