Wednesday, 26 October 2016 02:00

Google’s now tracking you in a super creepy way, here’s how to stop it


Google used to be considered a paragon of privacy, but their latest change is cause for concern.

The company’s corporate motto is the now-famous slogan, ‘Don’t be evil’ – and for a long time it lived up to this.

When in 2007, the search engine purchased the online advertising service DoubleClick, many observers were concerned about the impact it would have on users’ privacy.

But founder Sergey Brin assured us that it was the “number one priority when we contemplate new kinds of advertising products.”

And so it was.

Google kept your web-browsing records separate from your name and any information that could personally identify you.

But now the tech giant has changed its privacy policy and people are understandably concerned.

The personally identifiable information the company knows about you from your Google accounts (Gmail, Drive etc) can now be matched up with your browsing history.

This means that they can put a name to your browsing records and build up data-rich profiles that know about you than you know about yourself.

To be fair, most websites are doing this anyway – but storing personally identifiable information is a much bigger deal when Google does it, because of the sheer scale of data it has on its users.

Should I be worried, and how do I stop it?

Some people won’t be too worried about this change in policy – the more information that Google has on you, the better it’s able to target advertisements that are in line with your interest.

But you’d also be well within your rights to be concerned.

What this potentially means is that Google and its advertising arm has a profile of you that identifies you by name with every website you’ve visited, every video you’ve watched and every search term you’ve typed.

If the prospect of that makes you uneasy, there are a few simple steps you can take (especially compared to Facebook, Google is actually very transparent with its privacy controls and makes it easy to customise it to your liking):

1. Go to the ‘Activity’ tab in your Google accounts
2. Under ‘Web and App Activity’, uncheck the box next to “Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services.”
3. You can also delete all your past activity.

Source : techly


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