Google to offer life advice

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Google to offer life advice

Google claims that it can help its users run their lives using the personal information it builds up about their search habits.

The company is planning to create the world's most comprehensive database of personal data to learn what its users like and help them make important decisions about their lives.

"The goal is to enable Google users to ask questions such as 'What shall I do tomorrow?' and 'What job shall I take?'" chief executive Eric Schmidt told The Independent.

However, he added that the technology is still being developed and would continue to improve over time.

"We are very early in the total information we have within Google. The algorithms will get better and we will get better at personalisation," he said.

Google recently paid US$3.1 billion (A$3.7 billion) for online advertising firm DoubleClick which uses cookies stored on a user's PC to track which sites they visit. 

Google could combine this information with the user's search activity to build up a fuller picture of their habits.

The search giant has previously stated that it will only hold information for a maximum of two years.

The Article 29 Working Group, a European body made up of data protection watchdogs including the UK's Information Commissioner's Office, has written to Google asking how long it plans to retain the information in its database.

Rival search firm Yahoo announced its own Project Panama search technology in April 2007. The software builds up a profile of visitors to Yahoo sites by monitoring their internet activity.
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