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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Search engines have become the technological and organizational means to navigate, filter, and rank online information for users. During the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries in Europe, the ‘pre-history’ of search engines were the ‘bureau d’adresse’ or ‘address office’ that provided information and services to clients as they gathered data. Registers, censuses, and archives eventually shifted to relational databases owned by commercial platforms, advertising agencies cum search engines that provide non-neutral answers in exchange for user data. With ‘cyberorganization’, personalized advertisement, machine-learning algorithms, and ‘surveillance capitalism’ organize the user through their ‘habit’ of search. However, there are alternatives such as the p2p search engine YaCy and anonymity browsing with Tor.

Keywords: search engine, Google, personalization, cyberorganization, surveillance capitalism, Tor

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