So delivering products in the industry that I do, privacy is always on the agenda. So I thought I’d dive into what Google knows about me today.
Firstly, 50% of the world’s top 1,000,000 sites by traffic have Google analytics tags on them. So every second page I see on average, Google sees me seeing.
Secondly, I do 99.9% of my searches on Google (sorry Bing). So Google captures over 90% of my intent (maybe 10% of the time I might go direct to Amazon/Ebay etc.).
Thirdly, I decided to login to Google’s “profile” data area, and take a gander. Here’s what else El Goog knows about me:
- All my personal mail goes through Gmail partly for its spam filtering ability, partly as I’m Android phone-wise
- I’m signed up for G+, so they know my social network
- Some of the sites I am involved with are linked through my Google Analytics account, so they know who’s visiting my sites
- They have my credit card details, and home addresses (Google Checkout)
- They have access to my voicemail (Google Voice)
- They know what videos I watch (YouTube)
- I have an Android phone, so they know all my app choices, and my web browsing through there, also all the pictures I take, and my location….
Bottom line, they know more about me than I do myself. There is no such thing as privacy with Google in the game.
OK, so I admit I explicitly or implicitly opted in to all of this. I COULD just about opt out, but it would take some doing, I’d have to use second-choice online services, change my phone and browser, and clear down my cookies very regularly. And I’m unlikely to do that.
Ultimately, I’m not concerned about Google’s motivations – I saw Eric Schmidt speak at a Media Forum, and his response was “who else would you rather have all your personal information – your government? Microsoft? Apple?”. He has a good point.
(thanks for the Venn Diagram, GeeksAreSexy)