A card about throwing your phone in the river, throwing out the internet and learning to read paper sheets again, there's not much you can do to keep Google from collecting data about you.
So says a Vanderbilt University computer scientist who led an analysis of Google's data acquisition practices. The report, released Tuesday, outlines a myriad way the company collects billions of people using the world's leading search engine, browser and mobile operating system, not to mention products like Gmail, platforms like YouTube and products like Nest.
Although the report does not contain any bomb shells, it presents an overview of Google's efforts to learn as much about people as possible. And it comes at a time of increased concern about how much information technology companies collect, what they do with it, and how they ensure it. Google has largely escaped public and regulatory backlashes directed at Facebook.
"There has been a lot of attention apparently on Facebook in light of Cambridge Analytica," said Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, who published the study. (DCN is a trade organization that represents media publishers, including CNN.) "This quantifies and kind of establishes a baseline for," Here's everything Google does. ""
According to the 55-page report, Google does a lot.
"This report is commissioned by a professional DC lobbyist group, and written by a witness to Oracle in their ongoing copyright laws with Google. So it's no surprise that it contains misleading misleading information," said a Google spokesperson.
Google collects far more data than Facebook, according to the report, and it is the world's largest digital advertising agency. The huge portfolio of services, from Android to Google Search for Chrome to Google Pay, creates a firewall data.
Professor Douglas Schmidt and his team canceled data as it was transferred from Android smartphones to Google servers. They also investigated the information that Google provides users in their activities for my activity and Google Takeout, as well as the company's privacy policies and previous research on the subject.
The researchers claim that almost every move you make online is collected and collected from your morning routine (such as music tastes, route to work, and news preferences) for errands (including calendar appointments, visited websites, and purchases).
"At the end of the day, Google identified user interests with remarkable accuracy," says the report.
Google may collect data even if you do not use your phone. The study says that a sleeping Android phone with Chrome running in the background sent Location data to Google servers 340 times in a 24-hour period. The study claims that 1
The data stream contains information that people actively state when they enter something in Google Search or search directions on Maps.
But Google collects two thirds of their data with no input at all from users. Android mobile operating system, Chrome browser, applications like Search and Maps, and publisher tools as Google Analytics and AdWords retrieve information from web search, map requests, and other online activities without knowing or verifying it.
Google has said earlier, it uses a lot of data to improve its products. The information can lead to more relevant search results, for example.
But it also uses a lot of information to streamline ads, which accounted for 86% of Google's revenue in the second quarter of this year. The more information it has about any interests, the better it can target ads.
Most people have long accepted that using Google's free product package means turning over your data. And the report stops briefly and describes effective tactics to increase your privacy.
Google's own settings do not necessarily end the collection. A recent survey from Associated Press found that the company continued to record placement data even after a user disables the Location History option. Google said that the data is used to improve the services, but has updated the formulation of the setting to make it clear that the location information is still collected.
Switching from Android to an iOS device can minimize the data overall, according to researchers. They say that an iOS device usually does not send location data to the company unless you use a Google product or visit a website that uses Google tracking tools. It did not compare how much data an iPhone sends to Apple servers.
But even on an iPhone, using Safari and deleting all Google apps, a person still shares some information with Google through ad and publisher services. Google owns companies like Ad Stack, a decade-old online advertising service.
"It's almost impossible to do anything digitally without Google collecting data on you," said Kint.
CNNMoney (San Francisco) First published August 21, 2018: 12:26 ET