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Google, a Global Player

August 25, 2016

How much does Google know about us? How much does Google influence our everyday lives? From Internet searches to self-driving cars and technical monitoring, the company is moving into more and more areas of life.

Google, a Global Player
Image: ZDF

Google, a Global Player
Google holds more data than probably any other organization in the world - with the exception of the NSA.Image: ZDF
Google, a Global Player
Google’s self-driven car is controlled solely by cameras and sensors – there’s no steering wheel at all!Image: ZDF

Cultural historian and bestselling author Siva Vaidhyanathan warns that we have already become completely dependent on Google – and abdicated our access to knowledge to a multi-billion dollar company. Google's algorithms define our view of the world and what we know about it. Google decides who you can find in the Web and affects where we eat, shop, and book a hotel room or which doctors we visit.

Feel-Good Atmosphere or Pressure to Perform?
For their film “World Power Google,” authors Eike Petering and Alexander Poel went behind the colorful facade of Google. At Google's European Research Centre in Zurich, they met enthusiastic employees, who extol the virtues of the work environment with its palm gardens, wellness oases and gyms, and see themselves as elite of the digital future. But former employees also report extremely long working days and unremitting performance pressure.

The New “Google Alphabet”
Google founders have long had higher goals than just being an Internet giant and have been expanding their business to more and more areas of life: from the omnipresent Android smart phone operating system to packages delivered by drones and multi-billion dollar medical research. They are even taking on the powerful German automotive sector – with a self-driving car from Silicon Valley. Google has now bundled all these divisions together under the name Alphabet – and they are adding more businesses by the day. The group continues to grow – and with it its impact on our lives.

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Google, a Global Player
Siva Vaidhyanathans book “Google is Everywhere” is a worldwide bestseller.Image: ZDF