Go to contents

Is Google Big Brother watching us?

Posted November. 20, 2013 07:21,   


A public servant who works for a central government agency and is identified by his surname Park often uses the Google search engine and Gmail, which provide convenient services in emailing and checking materials via smartphone on the move. Park said, “The agency’s official email account cannot be accessed in mobile devices, so I often use Google’s Gmail account.”

Kim Myeong-jin, an office worker aged 39, also used the Google services until recently for similar reasons. However, he was so frightened after finding the information stored in his Gmail account. Kim said, “All of the words that I had searched in the engine and all the websites that I had visited over the past six months were stored there without any exception.”

The U.S. National Security Agency`s wiretapping scandal triggers “information sovereignty” claiming that a nation with sovereignty should lead the generation, distribution, storage and use of its information. Under these circumstances, nations where Google dominates the market have to sound an alarm over the use of Google. This has been possible since Google can collect thought and behavior patterns of users in real time thanks to its 80 percent market share in the search and mobile OS markets. Such collected information is stored in servers that can be accessed only by Google and the U.S. government.

Kim Seung-joo, professor of Graduate School of Information Security at Korea University, said, “Google automatically scans the keywords of emails in Gmail and uses the results for targeted advertising,” adding, "It is because information is resources and power in the era of big data.”