Google isn’t a search company anymore, they’re a tracking company. Google trackers have been found on 75% of the top million websites.
Investigation by the Associated Press revealed that Google continues to track location data even after a consumer has turned off the setting. In “Google Data Collection,” Douglas C. Schmidt, Professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University, catalogs how much data Google is collecting about consumers.
The key findings include:
1. A dormant, stationary Android phone (with the Chrome browser) communicated location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period. In fact, location information constituted 35 percent of all the data samples sent to Google.
2. A similar experiment found that on an iOS device with Safari but not Chrome, Google could not collect any appreciable data unless a user was interacting with the device. Moreover, an idle Android phone running the Chrome browser sends back to Google nearly 50 times as many data requests per hour as an idle iOS phone running Safari.
3. An idle Android device communicates with Google nearly 10 times more frequently as an Apple device communicates with Apple servers. These results highlighted the fact that Android and Chrome platforms are critical vehicles for Google’s data collection. Again, these experiments were done on stationary phones with NO USER INTERACTIONS. If you actually use your phone the information collection increases with Google.
4. Google has the ability to associate anonymous data collected through passive means with the personal information of the user. Google makes this association largely through advertising technologies, many of which Google controls. Advertising identifiers—which are purportedly “user anonymous” and collect activity data on apps and third-party webpage visits—can get associated with a user’s real Google identity through passing of device-level identification information to Google servers by an Android device.
5. DoubleClick cookie ID—which tracks a user’s activity on the third-party webpages—is another purportedly “user anonymous” identifier that Google can associate to a user’s Google account. It works when a user accesses a Google application in the same browser in which a third-party webpage was accessed previously.
6. A major part of Google’s data collection occurs while a user is not directly engaged with any of its products. The magnitude of such collection is significant, especially on Android mobile devices, arguably the most popular personal accessory now carried 24/7 by more than 2 billion people.
If you use Android (Google owns them), then Google is also tracking:
- Every place you’ve been via Google Location Services.
- How often you use your apps, when you use them, where you use them, and whom you use them to interact with.
- All of your text messages, which unlike on iOS, are not encrypted by default.
- Your photos (even in some cases the ones you’ve deleted)
When you search on Google, they keep your search history forever. That means they know every search you’ve ever done on Google. You can live Google Free. Find more about it here: