Once a thing of Orwellian fantasy, Google maps can find pretty much whatever your looking for in full color 3D. If satellites watching your every move from space gives you the creeps, wait until you hear what the new Google+ can do.
Using the data that Google collects from you each time you visit, review or search for a location, Google+ mobile users can punch in an entry, say Chinese Food, Los Angeles, and Google will not only show you where to find Chinese food, but it will give you the run down on what Zagat and your friends think as well.
Reviews and locations aren’t all Google has planned. The ‘Dear Abby’ of search engines will even tells you what it thinks you would like. Using algorithms based on your searches and locations you frequent, Google will suggest locations for you to check out that it’s sure you’ll enjoy. It ran the numbers.
While some might like the idea of taking the guess work out of where to eat for dinner, the over reaching suggestions and “targeted” advertising that accompany the useful suggestions might not be every one’s cup of tea.
Of course, there are several other even creepier things Google can do. Android users can use location data shared with Google to track every move they have made for as long as location sharing has been enabled. So, if you lost your wallet last Wednesday between work and home, your Google history can give you a play by play of your movements. On the other side of the coin, Google now uses that same technology to warn you if you’re headed into traffic and give you an alternative route home, a handy feature.
Good news for those too bothered by the idea of being tracked, Google doesn’t have to do any of these things for you. Google location sharing is 100% opt out, and if you don’t use Google+ and stick to plain old Google Maps you need not worry about being tracked by the search engine turned software super giant. That being said, if you use a smart phone, social media or drive on city streets, someone is watching you, so why not take advantage of the information?