The SuperNews! comedy series recently released a new viral video. This animated cartoon describes a fictional new service called Google Toilet. This Google program involves the installation of a data mining device in the user’s toilet. As a result, Google is able to analyze human waste in order to assess and store information about the health habits of users.
While the presentation might take an absurd turn, this video makes an important statement about online privacy. Since Google provides so many useful services, many internet users trust the company with private emails, search histories, and voice recordings. In fact, a number of online services store private information about users. This information is often sold to advertisers. Additionally, some government services might have access to information held by private companies.
The National Security Agency has been known to perform investigations on individuals for various reasons. As a result, information held by companies like Google might be available for discovery by government officials in the future. At the end of this cartoon about Google Toilet, the character is arrested for unacceptable lifestyle choices and taken for detainment at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. In an era where citizens of various countries are imprisoned for statements made on private websites, this is an important discussion to have. In the video, Google Toilet automatically updates your Facebook page with toxicology records derived from excrement.
While extremely violating features like these are not likely to be implemented by a real online service, we are reminded of the privacy implications of agreements to which we consent. It is important to carefully measure the policies of companies that we trust with private data. Exercise extreme caution when recording information on third-party websites. Additionally, remain mindful of the fact that this data can be stored and used by companies like Google.
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