For anyone who spends any time on Google and Facebook, which is most people, it may be a mystery how much personal information these two websites have about you. Google watches everything you do online while you use a Google-based feature, and Facebook keeps a log of everything you have written or clicked on. This data is then used to build personality profiles that are sold to other companies and used in a variety of ways.
Almost all of Facebook?s revenue comes from advertising, which totaled almost $40 billion last year. Facebook is currently facing adversity after The New York Times and other media outlets reported that Facebook used data from 87 million users to influence American voters.
Political parties have been known in the past to use Facebook data without the user’s knowledge. What is important to know is that you and your friends are being watched closely and the data you provide is sold with intentions to manipulate your actions.
It?s important to know that Google also runs a large artificial intelligence (AI) based company. They purchased Deep Mind for $400 million, which now employs over 700 AI researchers, which is the biggest collection worldwide. With this level of AI, Google can easily sort through all your information with their algorithms to pick up on patterns that are then used for profit.
Here is some of the data that Google and Facebook collect:
If you keep a Google-enabled device on you and keep the location tracking turned on, it will track and store the details of where you are and where you are moving.
Google records everything you have ever searched for, including search histories that you delete.
Based on your data, Google is able to create personalized advertisements targeted toward your interests. Have you ever searched for a certain product or service and then see similar adds for that exact thing? That?s done by your data profile.
If you use apps or extensions, Google keeps track of which ones you?re using, when you use them, and who you interact with when you do.
Google keeps track of every YouTube video you?ve ever searched for, watched, or made a comment on.
Facebook keeps a record of all of your activity. If you post, “like,” send a message, make a new connection, or login from a new computer, Facebook keeps track of this. Even if you tend to use certain words more often than others, this is noted and can be valuable information for advertisers.
Both Facebook and Google can access the microphone on your computer or phone without you knowing. This can be used to target you for ads about products you speak about.
Your built-in webcam can be accessed by a variety of apps. For a long time, people did not know about app permissions. When installing software, people were never asked if the application could have access to their web camera, their contacts, etc. So while app permissions may seem annoying at times, the better you understand how they work, the safer you can be.
Google watches your Google calendar entries and combines it with your location data to figure out the events that you attend and how long you stayed there.
Your Fitness Routine
People who use Google Fit are allowing Google to access the details about their exercise routines and workouts, with details down to exactly how far you have walked each day.
Private pictures are a thing of the past. Today, your life may be on public display on the internet, and Google keeps track of it all. Google can use facial recognition software and other identification applications such as metadata that details the time and place of each picture you are in.
If you use Gmail, Google has access to every email you?ve ever sent, received, or deleted.
While you may think that once you delete something off your computer it is gone, Google can still access any deleted files. This includes old passwords, resumes, and any code one might need to access any of your things.
If you want to know what Google and Facebook have stored on you, you can have the information sent to you. However, you have to be prepared because it is likely going to be a very large file and you will be shocked at its details.
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