Google’s story is one of extraordinary growth. From its days as an insurgent startup, it now dominates internet search in most of the world and has branched out into video sharing, operating systems, productivity tools and now self-driving cars and artificial intelligence.

Much of its success comes down to its ability to raise huge revenues from selling targeted advertising. In order to do this effectively, it relies on vast amounts of personal data.

The Guardian’s UK technology editor, Alex Hern, discusses how Google’s stated mission is to organise the world’s information to make it universally accessible and useful. But in doing so has it ushered in a new age of mass surveillance? And if so, should we be worried?

Also today: the Guardian’s Lois Beckett on a weekend of terror in the US cities of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, where at least 29 have been killed in mass shootings.





An illuminated Google logo inside an office building in Zurich





Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

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