Internet Users Have Limited Control Over Their Privacy
User privacy has all but vanished in today's society. By simply agreeing to terms and conditions for various services and apps you automatically give them access to all of your most sensitive data which is then used to send you targeted advertising and is also sold to third parties. Information They Collect Google collects and stores more information than other big tech companies by far. That’s not surprising, as their business model relies on knowing as much data as possible (and making it super easy for you to access). However, the company keeps a tremendous amount of data on you, the searcher, as well as the world at large. From your precise location to your browsing history, from your activity on third-party sites or apps to the emails in your Gmail account, if it’s data, there’s a good chance that Google is collecting it.
Google collects your IP address, crash reports, system activity, date, time, and referrer URL of your requests, data about interactions between apps, browser and device type, application version number, app usage, carrier name, and operating system.
They also collect your name, phone number, payment information if you’ve made any purchases through Google, email address, emails you write and receive, your stored videos, photos, documents, and spreadsheets, and your comments on YouTube.
Google keeps track of your search terms, videos watch, views, and interactions with content and ads, plus your video and audio information if these features were used. They’ll also keep track of your purchase activity, and, if a third-party site uses Google services, your activity on those sites or apps. They’ll also keep track of your browsing history if you use a Chrome browser synced with a Google account. Finally, if you’ve used Google to make calls or text, then they’ve also collected the calling and receiving party numbers, forwarding numbers, times and dates of your calls and texts, call durations, routing information, and types of calls.
As far as location goes, Google keeps track of your via GPS, sensor data from your device, and information about things near your device like Wi-Fi access points, cell towers, or Bluetooth-enabled devices.
Google may obtain your information from you from local newspapers, third party marketing partners, or advertisers. Third party apps also collect a staggering amount of information. Here is an example of some of the shocking additional information that Tik Tok collects from users.
- The videos you watch and re-watch
- The videos you comment on
- The keyboard rhythms you have when you type
- Your phone and location data
- Clipboard data
- Private messages and contacts
- Any information you share while creating your account
- Information from linked social media accounts