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The Ubiquity of Google: How We Are Being Spied On

One of the biggest tech giants in the world, Google, has some of the most priceless commodities that anyone can offer today: information.

Data is what keeps Google alive and we're freely providing it to them. In turn, they sell that data to companies, third parties, and even the military and intelligence agencies.

Google was the first internet company to fully leverage this insight and build a business on the data that people leave behind. But it wasn’t alone for long. It happened just about everywhere, from the smallest app to the most sprawling platform.
Meanwhile, other internet companies depend on Google for survival. Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Lyft and Uber have all built multi-billion-dollar businesses on top of Google’s ubiquitous mobile operating system. As the gatekeeper, Google benefits from their success as well. The more people who use their mobile devices, the more data it gets on them.
It is a scary thought, considering that Google is no longer a cute startup but a powerful global corporation with its own political agenda and a mission to maximise profits for shareholders. Imagine if Philip Morris, Goldman Sachs or a military contractor like Lockheed Martin had this kind of access.

Read more on The Guardian.

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

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Most people do not have to buy anything online. You could use one of the search engines that specialize in not retaining search histories and have existed for years now. If you don't trust them, there are tools that will make tracking you online much harder (near impossible if you don't give out easy to identify info). Nearly everything is still functional with these tools in use, just slightly less convenient.

People do give away a lot of information freely, but that info is a bit narrow. A lot more, broader info comes from tracking people based on what they do and not what they say, like through advertisements that can track your browsing habits. Either way, people don't care and some research has already shown it is not just a lack of understanding.
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Think about how much information regular people give away freely on facebook, youtube, twitch, google searches, texting and sexting, instagram, pinterest, online shopping, etc.
Companies like Google literally don't have to spy on anyone - We give everything to them freely. We want to believe it's a conspiracy against us because it makes it feel better about our own self-sabotage.
There's things you could do (like deleting your social media accounts), but in our world today you have to shop online and use search engines. You're going to get data-mined. Best you can hope for is to be a good person, then they can only data-mine good things.
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