Through the concept of targeted advertising, Google commodifies and exploits users through tracking their data. A person’s data is extremely valuable to Google, as it provides descriptions of its users and subsequent answers they are seeking. This data is then sold by Google in order to generate profit through the use of this type of monitoring and advertising. Typically, content uploaded by the user to the web acts as a “meta exploiter” of user-generated content producers (Fuchs 134). The consumers are inevitably commoditized because production of the World Wide Web content is exploited “through the motivations of the capital”. Google AdSense allows web operators to include Google advertisements on their websites and to collect revenue for each “click” on an advertisement. The use of the services provided by Google on the internet can be interpreted as the “commons” since Google has the right to use anyone’s data. This policy is clearly set out in their terms of service and privacy “fine print”, the legal foundation of economic user surveillance . Google has the right to share user-generated data “between different services, such as Gmail, Calendar, and YouTube” (Crystal 272). The “capital”, in this case, Google, constantly strives to reduce costs, hence by taking advantage of user information and commoditizing it, it allows them to attain profit through the means of an antagonistic relationship. The nature of technology has changed under capitalism as the “human brain is augmented by Google”, meaning that all human thoughts are directly transformed into commodities that are sold as data to advertising clients (Fuchs 134). New technology is acquiring a “biological character” in which all user information is stored in code in order to provide the user targeted information, news and advertising. Society is now living in a world of surveillance, not only by the government but also through these corporations operating on the ideology of self interest. The option to opt-out of Google’s mass form of surveillance on Internet Explorer and Firefox is a good start to kill this form of targeted-advertising and ensure privacy is an option, even though we are living in a panopticon society in which people are aware of today.
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