Millions of Americans—most of us, probably—have grown to rely on Google as our default search engine for finding information online. Thousands more have even gone so far as to buy Google Home, an Internet-connected microphone plugged into Google’s computers that is constantly monitoring your home, waiting for voice commands that begin “Hey, Google.”
To the extent we bother to think about it, we accept that Google gathers our data and eavesdrops on our homes, because we assume that they only want to use this technology to sell us things. If the cost of free access to a really great search algorithm is that we have to see a few banner ads, that seems like a very small price to pay. After all, what could possibly go wrong?