The recent scandal involving Facebook’s data harvesting operations being exploited by a third-party vulture highlighted what many already knew: “surveillance capitalism” has gotten way out of hand. But what many people do not realize is that Facebook’s data hoarding pales in comparison to the harvesting operation over at Google.
Most of us already knew that WE are the product sold by Facebook, but few could have imagined the extent to which technological privacy violations have fueled parasitic economic entities. The real shocker is that what happened with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica was by the books—that’s how Facebook’s business model works. This is the society we’ve created.
Even more shocking than the amount of data that Facebook has on us, which I outlined in an article for the Anti-Media is how much the other Big 5 tech companies have as well. In particular, Google may have 10 times more of our personal data. That’s what web developer Dylan Curran claims.
Curran downloaded his Google data file and found it was 5.5gb, almost ten times larger than Facebook’s. Mr. Curran says Google is almost constantly tracking our online movements, and perhaps our physical movements as well. The file contained data on every place he visited in the past year, every website he went to, and even contained deleted files from his Google Drive cloud storage account. It also described his hobbies and interests and projected guesses regarding his weight and income.
Shockingly, what Curran found suggests that if you have a smartphone device or tablet operating with you, Google can essentially track your real-world movements, including events you attend, foreign countries and cities you visit, bars you frequent, the amount of time you spend there, and your route home. From this, you can extrapolate the vastness of how much of your life is currently archived by Google.
To find out what data Google stores on your travels, click here.
To find out which events of yours Google has tracked, you need to access your Calendar history, your complete Google data file, and you need to request your Google Takeout file by clicking here.
To access your ad profile, click here.
To check your YouTube history file, click here.
To delete it permanently, you have to manually access the My Activity log here and delete everything.