10 unexpected ways in which Google is watching you

| November 21, 2016

After a dispute with one of his colleagues on the global surveillance of people, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, Robert Epstein puzzled. As the author of 15 books and two hundred articles on psychology and AI, he rarely thought about Google’s role in our lives. But when he received the usual letter from a colleague that wanted to dig deeper and find out which way overcome this email on the way from the mailbox colleagues to his own box. It turned out that all the letters in Psychology Today editors somehow passed through Google’s servers, where they were literally taken apart on the bone. Digging in the Google code Epstein discovered more than a dozen obvious and not so obvious ways in which “good company” can find out almost any of your secrets.

Search engine

Imagine each search Google – from the search for the nearest gym to medication for a cat – a brick. The more bricks, the faster Google will make a portrait of your personality, better understand what kind of ads you’d better show and when to do it. To help you understand how this is an important point for Google, you need to know that 97% of their income IT-giant does exactly on advertising.

Even if Google does not have your name, last name or phone number, it still collects data, tying them to the IP address and geo. If you use at least one Google service, then you have the browser is cookie-ID, which captures any letter that you drove in the search bar. Even if you were driven to find “Putin Satan”, but at the last moment decided not to press Enter, Google still register this information.


If you use Gmail, the company not only scans your mail, but the mail recipient. Even if you use Yahoo or Hotmail, Google still scans incoming emails. If you have you have clicked delete button, and you think that outsmarted the system, it is not reassuring – Google never deletes emails from their servers. Any letter in the basket or remote Draft are all stored somewhere in the bowels of the Taiwanese server. If you use Gmail or communicate is in correspondence with the person who uses Gmail, then you are already on the hook.


Why Google got on a crowded market with another browser? But then, that with the Chrome company was able to track any customer referrals use the search engine unnecessarily. For example, to find out how often and at what time you are dealing with an employee of your bank or pay utility bills. If you like gloomy analogy, the search engine was a suspicious black van parked in front of your home. Chrome – a dozens of cameras, your housing. And even incognito mode is not very save since Chrome establishes a connection between the user and the stored reference and soon as you click on your favorite site as soon cease to be incognito for Google.

As for the “people’s” Firefox browser, it somehow works closely with Google, using its proven and lists of harmful sites. This means that a piece of Google soul lives in every browser, even in Safari, which uses the same lists. By the way, 85% of the $ 163 million of last year’s revenue came from Firefox By Google.

Social network

Here, in general, everything is clear – registering in any social network, you voluntarily personal information. That’s only part of Facebook to use this information in comparison with the Google+ looks like a baby.


Here the same question as the browser – what Google had to reinvent the wheel if you can ride on existing? The answer is the same – the operating system penetrates the skin deeper browser and search engine. Everything that you do in Android until banal swipe at Tinder is stored within the system to which Google has full access. If you are online, then Google can upload and download any data when it pleases. If you are offline (which now happens less often), the system will simply retain the necessary data for subsequent unloading in accordance with Google’s internal plan.


YouTube – is another deep behavioral well, which Google has imposed arms in 2006. And when you see a clock political debate in the United States, and then switch to the selection of a computer chair and complete all new skimming Leningrad clip, you have been on the hook.

Google Analytics

More than half of the popular web sites use Google analytics tools to better understand their audiences. Site Readers may not be aware of this, but Google Analytics begins gathering masses of data about your behavior as soon as you opened the first link in the browser. Simply put – if you just open your favorite site, you probably already caught.

Google AdSense

In an attempt to make money on your blog or website, millions of owners use the system of cheap banner ads from Google. In theory, the banner must match the content of the page on which you are logged in. For example, if you went to look for lasagna recipe, then Google shows you a discount on cooking utensils or store that sells products for lasagna. But in practice, the content of banner ads often do not correspond to the content of the page. But the important thing is not it, but the fact that you get to the hook even when Google just went to the page banners. According to it, do not even need to click. And if you click, then went to the side of the silicon valley additional pack their personal data.

Google AdWords

If the site owner does not have enough conventional advertising banners, Google puts insert advertising message directly in the content body. Once you have opened this page – you are on the hook. If clicked, the hook penetrates deeper.

Google Street View and Google Maps

Google machines daily travel thousands of kilometers in 48 countries around the world, carefully photographing the surrounding homes and businesses. With this visual information can easily establish a link between house owners and business owners in the area. Regarding Google Maps, widgets they are embedded in hundreds of thousands of sites around the world. As you already know, when Google somehow present on the site, it automatically collects data about users.

As for the future of surveillance, remember science fiction. Now Google buys startup Behavio, which will follow you 24 hours a day – wherever you go, from back, and who is waiting for you there. And then on the basis of these data to try to predict your behavior. Further more – the company actively invests in projects with the identification of DNA and soon Google will know what your chances of getting cancer, if any of your ancestors Irish and is it true that my mother once cuckolded father. I think the dark clouds? Remember, where the company takes the money. Advertising, advertising and once again an advertisement. To create another promising project like Google Glass or unmanned vehicles, Google need to feed the beast.

Is this lawful surveillance? As I said, one of Google employees, we are signed user agreement, agreeing to the privacy policy of the company. It is understood that the agreement no one reads, but they have the same legal effect as your signature on the mortgage transaction. This agreement states that any company using the product (even if you do not know what a Google product), you agree that Google collects your user data.

Google has every right to use this information for their own purposes. Today, it is the data for targeted advertising, tomorrow your file upon request of state bodies. It is surprising that in the latter case, according to the agreement, “Google defends the rights, property or safety of Google itself.” And it’s all spelled out in the user agreement, which nobody reads. Metaphorically – go our way and we will put on the table, your files thickness to the phone book.

How justified and expedient that little item in a giant sheet of user agreements? Hard to tell. Now it is a double edged sword, on which we shall judge later years. But to underestimate the power of Google just not worth it.


Category: News, Technology

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