Hello folks, welcome to the new article on privacy. This is based on my personal experience and i will try to give you in depth details of how tech giant’s have embedded their product into your day-to-day life, how it affects your privacy and how to stop them (partially!!).
Internet giants knows more about you than you does. Dot.
Before we start, let me clear some points:
- 21st century is digital century. Digital data is like money, so every company wants to collect more and more data about you.
- I am aware that, for normal user, it is very very difficult to prevent tech giant from tracking them. This is sad, but it’s reality.
- Nothing is perfect. Things I’ll describe here won’t do magic for your privacy; but it will surely help you to increase your privacy.
- All are my personal views. I am not affiliated with any of the brands or company i mentioned here.
So, without further ado, let’s start exploring.
21st Century is digital century where data is very precious things. Every big company wants to collect as more as possible data about you. Sometimes they collect data to provide you good personalized stuff, but most of times they collect to provide you targeted ads, sell your data to third party to make money, get some insight from it etc. Some companies even try to manipulate your mindset by showing you the content that they think best for you. Remember, privacy is not about just hiding your Profile Picture or posts, it’s about your personal data that belongs to you.
Privacy is not a feature, it’s a human right.
In this article, we will explore how much data they have about you and how you can stop them to collect the data about you. So let’s start with one by one tech giants.
Google has embedded it’s product in day-to-day life so deeply that one simply can’t live without it. You need browser to surf internet, google has chrome for you. You need mail for professional or personal use, google has gmail for you. You need some cloud space, google has Google Drive for you. You need a good photo app, google has Google Photos for you. These are just few examples. Google has lot more to offer to make one’s life easier than ever. But as one wise man said; nothing is free on internet, if something is free, then you are product. This fact is also applied to your google services. Google is biggest ad network manager in world. Google uses your personal data to suggest you more and more personalized ads. Additionally, google has most advanced Machine Learning technology throughout silicon valley. They use it to dig deeply into your data and create personalized profile for you. If you have google account, Google knows more about you than you does. But how much they know about you ? Let’s dig out :
- They have your name, mobile number,address, contacts, payment info (Information provided by you).
- They know what you order through online shopping, where you travelling, where you were in last few days or months (private map), what you search on internet (for most people, there is nothing like search engine, it’s just google), what you watch on internet (YouTube).
- Do you exactly remember which apps you had used 2 days ago ? Google knows it for sure. It accurately knows when did you opened WhatsApp last night, or when did you interacted with your home screen (yes, they logging it too). Don’t believe it ? Check out your activity on Google : https://myactivity.google.com./myactivity
How it feels when you realize someone is constantly watching on you physically ? Irritating right ? google is doing the same but digitally. It watching you for every seconds and keep track of it. So, how you can avoid this ? Is there any way to keep google’s prying eyes away from you while you can still use google services? Yes, there is.
Go to your account settings : https://myaccount.google.com/
Select Data & personalization tab, scroll down to Activity Control.
You can see 6 activity is ON for you by default. You can turn all of them, but 3 of them is interesting to know.
- Web and App Activity: This is the things that let google know about every second of your digital life. For example, when did you opened certain app on your device. Turn it off so google will not log about it.
- Location History: Have you experienced that when you visit any known place (park, monument etc) and after few hours, there comes one pop-up from google map stating that let people help understand this place better with few questions ? it’s because of google is tracking your location even if you don’t use their products. Turn it off so can live in some peace!!!
- Voice and Audio Activity: Google records every voice sample that you use to talk with your google assistant. You can turn off this permission to avoid this.
Additionally, if you are looking for alternative to google products, please have a look at : https://nomoregoogle.com/
You must be thinking, how a online shopping company can affect my privacy? Beware, amazon is lot more than an online shopping company. It’s true power lies behind it’s massive Cloud network known as Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS is world’s most used cloud network. It is possible that your favorite app or website is hosted on AWS. So when you use it, you are passively interacting with Amazon. Amazon is also tracking you online but it doesn’t provide options like google to turn it off.