Google's sweeping ability to collect data makes it almost impossible to escape the technology giant during normal online activity, according to a new study published Tuesday.
The 55-page study, led by Vanderbilt University Computer Science Professor Douglas C. Schmidt, said that an available smartphone running Google's Android operating system with its Chrome browser sends data communication to Google servers as often as 14 times an hour. And while you're not using Google's devices or services, data collection limits, makes the dominance of Google's advertising network very difficult to prevent Google from collecting any data, and the study also shows.
The study gives a broad view of the many aspects of Google's data collection techniques, through services such as Maps, Hangouts chat and YouTube, as well as through the DoubleClick ad network. It was paid by Digital Content Next, a lobby group representing the digital publishing industry – The Washington Post is a member – and a frequent critic of Google. The group has previously criticized Google for lack of moderation on YouTube, as well as the company's dominance with Facebook, from the online advertising industry.
"These products are able to collect user data through a variety of techniques that may not be easily understood by a general user," Schmidt wrote in the paper's conclusion. "A large part of Google's data collection happens while a user is not directly involved with any of its products."
Google in a statement asked the credibility of the study.
"This report is commissioned by a professional DC lobbyist group, written by a witness to Oracle in their ongoing copyright laws with Google. So it's no surprise that it contains misleading information," the company said.
The report comes as Google stands Faced with an increased review of how it collects placement information, after an Associated Press survey revealed to turn off the "Location History" setting, not all data collection for locating stopped. Two men in California filed lawsuit after the report, reported Ars Technica, claiming that Google had
Schmidt found that two thirds of Google data collected from a smartphone during a 24-hour mock "Day of Life" period was through passive funds, which means that it was not voluntary of one person. He also said that he found evidence that Google has the ability to link anonymous data with information from people's Google k Ontoer they are logged out of their Google accounts or using a private browsing mode – called "incognito mode" – in Google Chrome browser. The study also claims that Google can associate anonymous data by announcing cookies to people's Google accounts. Google accounts for most of its advertising money, which accounted for 86 percent of revenue in the second quarter earnings statement.
When asked about specific points that are misleading, Google directed the post to the description of how incognito mode and Chrome browser listing and track information say that it does not link anonymous activity with people's Google accounts when they sign in. Private browsing deletes information when someone turns off mode.
Google also said that it does not link anonymous data collected from advertising caps with users accounts.