There is nothing — absolutely nothing — that can be done in private these days. Okay, let us rephrase the statement a bit: there are still some honourable exceptions, but it’s best not to mention those in this family newspaper. But why are we suddenly whining about this loss of privacy? This is not something new, it has been happening incrementally over the years, starting from the time we did our first search on the incredible worldwide Web. The reason is that the moment we punch in a query in Google, the search engine giant, we become a statistic. How awful is that!
For a couple of years now, Google has been keeping a tab on what we search for on the internet and has a programme called Google Trends that keeps an eye on who is searching for what. According to the technology giant, it is a public Web facility that shows how often a particular “search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.” The company then comes up with Hot Searches that are updated daily on its site. Now according to Google Trends, this is what India is searching for: sex, corruption, places to travel to (though we never end up going there), and not economy, inflation and politics. In fact, sex seems to be the all-time favourite for Indians, just a notch below, who else of our Pakistani brethren. Gujarat, the land of Gandhi and now the hub of organised cricket betting, made the maximum searches for, obviously not Gandhi but cricket. Now that the results are out, all we can say now is that we don’t really need a search engine to tell us all over again our likes and dislikes; love to search for sex, movies and corruption was well known.
So what do these results say about the netizens of the land of kamasutra and cricketnama? Nothing, we simply know how to keep ourselves happy, never mind the scale of inflation or corruption.