By Kyle Smith:
A new documentary reveals how much deeply personal information Google has on all of us.
On Google, I just typed in “top races Republican,” and the word “races” got a squiggly underline suggesting I had misspelled the word. Beneath it ran Google’s helpful correction: “top racist Republican.” With “top races Democrat,” no such veering into the gutter. No squiggly line. The word “racist” did not insinuate itself into my field of vision. Oh, and before I completed the phrase, with just “top races Democra,” two lines below ran the following little hint: “best Democratic races to donate to.” Huh? Who said anything about donating? I’ve never donated to a political candidate in my life, and if I did, I wouldn’t donate to Democrats. Again, no parallel on the Republican side. No steering me to fundraisers.
The documentary The Creepy Line takes its name from a shockingly unguarded remark by the former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. He is smiling and relaxed in a conference as he explains that Google has (had?) a nickname for excessive invasiveness. “Google policy on a lot of these things,” Schmidt says, “is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”
How is that going so far? The Creepy Line, a terrifying and important 80-minute documentary now streaming on Amazon Prime, is an attempt to answer that question.
The film delves into some of the troubling habits of our two Internet masters, Facebook and especially Google. An early segment of the film, produced and partly narrated by the journalist Peter Schweizer, illustrates how your search history gives Google an enormous, permanent cache of information about you, everything from what things you like to buy to what you like in bed. Naturally Google uses the data mainly to fine-tune ad sales. But what else might they do with it? Who knows?
Read more: National Review