Have you ever thought about your digital footprint and the trail of information you leave behind? No? If not, let’s just say that you are leaving behind a slew of data.
While some search engines have chosen to dump that data, Google is one of the few that save your every move. If you have ever signed up and used Google’s services, then just know that they know everything about you. Yes, everything! That might sound terrifying at first, but the purpose of this “invasion of privacy” makes total sense! Just how much they know about you, though, is determined by the services you use.
According to recent 2021 statistics, Google is the number one most popular website in both the global market and the U.S. Considering the grasp they have on the average person’s life, it makes sense. With applications and services like Gmail, Google Ads, Google Analytics, Google Drive, Maps, Adsense, Translate, Calendar, etc.; It would be hard to deny the power behind this tech-giant.
Why is Google collecting my data?
You may be wondering, why is Google collecting my information? What do they need it for? Well, there is a simple explanation for that. In this great big technological world that we live in today, data is the driving force behind the information economy. While there are many different types of data flooding the Internet, the most profitable type of data is something called personal data. Much of today’s society doesn’t realize how important their data means to tech giants like Google. In order to monetize its services, Google must collect your information. They do all of this to track your interests and gain a better understanding of who you are. This is so that they can cater to you and make your experience better.
Based on the services that you have used, Google knows you almost as well as your closest friend; Maybe even more.
How is data gathered?
Understanding how the company gathers information is key to grasping exactly what Google knows about you. Don’t worry, there isn’t some stalker on the other side of your screen watching your every move. Google simply stores all of your data and keeps a historical record of it so that they can access it years down the road. That doesn’t sound much better, does it? (Ha!)
That sounds conniving, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s not. When you sign up for Google services, you agree for them to view, track, and save your data. Basically, you are signing away your privacy. But, let’s be honest, anyone who uses the Internet is signing away their privacy. Let’s face it, we live in a world without a lot of privacy.
Because Google owns and operates so many services, they have numerous ways to track you and gather your data. With Google Search, the team keeps a history of every search you’ve ever made. Google Chrome provides the team with a complete history of every website you have ever visited. YouTube allows them to track every video you have ever watched. Google Maps has access to your location and history. Google actually owns another location app called WAZE that also tracks your location and history. If you own an Android phone, Google is storing your messages and app usage. Think about all the other Google apps that you use: Photos, Calendar, Docs, Drive, and so on. Each of those services and more are capturing data and storing it for their own personal use. It’s all to create a better service for you. They want to make sure they provide what you want before you even want it. That’s high-tech, am I right?
How do I make Google stop collecting my data?
Did I completely scare the living daylight out of you? If anything, I hope this information made you more aware of your actions online. If you want Google to stop collecting data on you, your solution is simply to stop using their products. If you want to take drastic measures to stop using Google services, you should switch from an Android to an Iphone, install a Firefox Browser and download DuckDuckGo, WolframAlpha, or any other search engine that doesn’t track. There are tons of them out there! All it takes is a quick search.
The thought of being tracked by Google shouldn’t be that scary. Their main reason for doing it is to create a better experience for you. There are tons of different websites, search engines and apps that track your data. The Internet is a public place that you have willingly entered. You are being tracked some way or another, no matter what you do. At least you can control it a little more when using search engines like DuckDuckGo and WolframAlpha. Google is just more open about being less private. If you didn’t get anything else out of this article, I hope it stands as a simple reminder to be cautious of how you are using the Internet.
Despite the fact that they track you, many businesses utilize Google to improve their search engine ranking, draw visitors to their website, and grow their business.