Posted by: salambander on Sep 20, 2010
Once upon a time, some children were in dire need of being watched. And behold! A woman flew into their street with a magic umbrella, and offered herself as their nanny.
Yes, yes, Mary Poppins is slightly creepy if you think about it (she makes the kids walk off the roof! She takes them down to Mr Creepy Old Guy who gets them high on "space cakes"! Nuff said) but she's not nearly as creepy as Google.
It turns out that children's websites - that is, those aimed at children, not the horrific technicolor excretions made by kids - install masses of tracking software (cookies etc) on the private computers that access them. And Google, who pride themselves on protecting the children and so on, have been pinpointed as the biggest creeps of them all, thanks to their non-age-discriminating Adsense.
And it's legal, but dodgy, to sell this information to advertisers. So they can track and record what Little Susie's favourite colour, Barbie or Final Fantasy game is, and sell that to advertisers.
Because, as usual, kids are the doorway to their parents' wallets. Why else are there sweets at kid-eye-level at the tills of most shops? What parent can withstand a solid 20 minutes of MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE!!!!!???!!!
It hurt me just to type it.
But there we have it.
Google, my friend. You're creepy.
Read more about it here.