Is Google Spying On Me?
In my previous article, I explained how Google did a bit of healthy stalking in order to create marketing as we know it. I mean healthy in the sense that where would we be without it, really? Google did some data tracking in its early days (and still does) in order to give you the best user experience on the internet today.
When you google “plumber” or “plumber near me”, Google will pull up the top-rated plumbers near you based on your IP address (kind of like your computer’s zip code). Even if you are using a VPN (virtual private network) to hide your IP address, it will pull up businesses near you based on previous location data they have stored on you. You’ve not always used a VPN, right? Or had one on all of your devices? Trust me, they have previously stored data on you then.
Google even tracks you on non-Google websites and apps. Maybe you didn’t know that, but Google trackers are basically on every website. Google Analytics — an automated system that keeps tabs on website traffic — is one of the biggest trackers out there. The term “analytics” may sound techy and like something a website might need to know who their audiences are, but it is much deeper than that.
There are many “cookieless” privacy-focused analytic services, but Google Analytics uses site information for more than just harmlessly tracking demographics. They collect information about users and store it within their own giant profile system about people. Google has access to a global browsing history on most people, whether they are using Google products or not.
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Google pools in data from various sources on how you use their services, apps, and devices. Do you have Google Voice? Do you watch YouTube? Are you using Gmail? Your location history, activity, searches, and any shopping done online is used to collect information on your behavior, likes, and dislikes. If Google could only give…