I was quite surprised to spot this notification on my Nexus 7 earlier this evening:
I’d already gotten used to the idea that Google Now enjoys nothing more than seeing where I go every day and working out where I work and where I live – something that apparently takes just 3 days. Once I’d convinced it that I wanted to know about using public transport for my commute and not a car (which as a method of daily travel sounds like an quick way to an early grave) I actually found it quite useful for checking out my journey over breakfast.
But this was a new one. EC3R 6DX meant nothing to me, other than most likely being a post code. Google Now kindly obliged a little – it’s in London!
Now I was starting to get an inkling of where this was going. Sure enough, a quick look in Google Maps at where it had kindly provided with directions to (remembering my preference for letting the train take the strain!) revealed that my Nexus was all set for me to go to the Insight Technology Show on Friday down at Billingsgate. What I can’t get my head around is how it knew! My calendar is vague – just an all day appointment titled “Insight”.
From what little – and there is only little – I can glean from (ironically) Googling the subject, it picks up information from “various sources“, including my search history (important side note – worth reviewing!). But that revealed no smoking gun either. The only places I can imagine it picked this up from was either my work email (which is surely a bit of a security concern) or it spotted my earlier tweet, picked up the hashtag and worked it out from there.
— Gareth Edwards (@g_eds) March 6, 2013
All of which is just plain disturbing. And kind of cool.