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When I look at this ad settings page, it has a list of topics Google thinks I'm interested in. I've heard of half of them and am interested in none. I would be worried about Google collecting my data only if they were competent enough to misuse it.

Never mind if they are competent enough to misuse it today; giving Google data assumes they won't *become8 competent enough to misuse it in the future.

Collection isn't what you should be worried about. The problem is that the collected data is persistent and combined with other data in the future. Just timestamps from the browser can paint a surprisingly fine-grain picture of your pattern-of-life. I'm sure far more interesting interpretations can be found with the many machine learning techniques and other analysis methods that are currently being invented.

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