Just a few centuries ago, before television and radio sets, horses and "messengers" were the only "broadband" lines available for long distance communication. In some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, drums, gong-gongs and horns were used for similar purposes. Things have changed a lot especially in the past few decades. Now we have radio and television sets. Now we have cars, trains, airplanes and above all, we have phones and more cell phones in addition to the mighty oracle of information, the internet all of which help a lot in faster information distribution.
The sad part however is that, not everybody has access to this booming web of information. Not everybody enjoys these privileges some of us take for granted. Some people are denied access to the web of information by their governments and overseers.
Others however, are denied access to all this information due to their poverty. Not so many poor people in some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia can boast of even "black and white" television sets let alone smart phones and laptops with internet access. However, thank God things are about to change for the better. The poor can now also enjoy some of these privileges we take for granted.
Google one of the gods of information distribution is ready to shower some of its blessings on the poor people in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Google the search engine giant is ready to tap the untapped in Asia and Africa. Google is planning on how to bring the poor and the needy online. Google is planning on how to bring the rest of the world to the doorsteps of the poor and the needy who have no access to the web of information. Google has stepped in to act as a Good Samaritan bridging the gap and helping the poor get access to the web of information. Google is planning on how to give free internet access to at least 1 billion poor people in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Google is considering both "Blimps" and satellite technologies. This sounds so great!
However, the search engine god Google is not doing it for free. As we all know, Google is in for business and in business, nothing goes for free. As we all know, Google is a search engine giant and Google has carved its way into other areas of information technology. However, despite all these achievements, Google's advertising platform popularly known as "Adsense" remains its major income source. Google has reasoned that, by bringing the poor in Asia and Africa to the web, its advertising platform would get a major boost which means more money for Google. In other words, Google is planning on how to benefit from the poverty of the poor by helping bring the poor to the web and the poor helping it to make big money.
This sounds like a mutualistic relationship whereby both parties benefit. However, as some of you know, some mutualistic relationships are nothing but "camouflage" relationships mutualistic to the outsider but quite parasitic in nature. Such relationships turn parasitic in nature especially when the benefit of one of the parties involved turns out way greater than the other's to the point where the other party becomes nothing but a prey. Now back to the Google-Poor relationship. Of course we all know Google can never be the prey.
I know most of you know this already but for the sake of those who don't know, let me repeat it. The more private information giant organizations like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Myspace, Twitter, etc. gather from you, the more money they make. Although these giant organizations preach so much about privacy protection and how much they protect your privacy, these are the same organizations all over the web with their "bots" and "spiders" searching every nook and cranny for your private information so they can make more money out of you. For example, they have something they called "interest based advertising" which targets individual people based on the information they gather from such people.
In other words, the more information they gather from you, the better they are able to serve you "targeted" ads and the better they are able to serve you targeted ads, the more money they make. It is very hard for some of these giant organizations to tap into the private lives of people in very advanced countries because these advanced countries have privacy protective laws which help a lot in protecting one's privacy. Although not very effective, those privacy laws help a lot in protecting your privacy in most cases and they give you the legal rights to fight those offenders infringing on your rights.
Now back to the Google-Poor relationship. Google's plan does not include big cities and towns where there are such protective laws. Google's plan does not include advanced countries where there are such protective laws. Google's plan only includes poor people (most with very little education) in poor countries where there are no such protective laws to protect one's privacy. Now imagine the level of private information Google can gather from all these poor people all in the name of "free" web access. Although I do not oppose the idea of helping the poor and the needy in some of the most remote corners of the world, the idea of Google doing it makes me a little bit uncomfortable. In my opinion, Google may just be "tapping" deeper into the lives of the poor and the needy just to make more money.