Does Google collect too much personal information?

Does Google collect too much personal data about you?


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anon(10092459)

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There's been a lot in the news about tech companies and their practice of collecting data on users. It's no secret that Goggle collects a significant amount of user data, but do they collect too much?

For me personally, the answer is no. All modern technology companies collect data about users of their technology. The true question isn't about the amount of data, but the transparency of it's use and user control over what data they want to share with any technology company.

But I'm sure not all of us feel the same about the topic. How do you feel about Google's level of user data collection?
 

Itsa_Me_Mario

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You got it almost exactly the same as I would have said it. Google collects a lot of data, but it's misguided to think that any other company isn't collecting the same data, or at least as much data as they possibly can. What the companies DO with the data once they have it is the important part, and Google and Apple are the only two companies that I'm aware of that are even trying to do things right. Microsoft, Samsung, Verizon, BlackBerry, TCL, LG, Yahoo (Verizon), Facebook, HTC, AT&T, etc, etc. not only collect massive amounts of data, but they also give themselves permission to and actually do share with and/or sell that data to third parties. So then the question transforms to... okay, well how do you control your data once that third party has it? How much do you trust them? This site we're on? Do you know what data they collect and who, if anyone they sell it to or share it with? Do you have control over those transactions? Do you trust those third parties?
 

xocomaox

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I don't consider my personal data important enough to be worried about companies collecting it, sharing it or selling it. As long as they pay taxes on that transaction.
 

ManiacJoe

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Absolutely, Google and every other company is mining far too much personal information from their users. You know it is far too much based on what the company states it is doing with the information, especially targeted advertising.

Whether or not you care about how much info they are collecting is probably a different question.
 

J Dubbs

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Absolutely, Google and every other company is mining far too much personal information from their users. You know it is far too much based on what the company states it is doing with the information, especially targeted advertising.

Whether or not you care about how much info they are collecting is probably a different question.

Well said. I think most folks realize there really isn't that much they can do about the ridiculous amount of data mining going on now, so they just tell themselves it's alright because they can trust Google, and that helps them sleep better at night. I was part of the Equifax breach, so I'll be looking over my shoulder and monitoring my credit for the rest of my life.

The whole data mining/data sharing is getting completely out of control, and the ones getting rich off of our data are not the ones we can depend on to protect us. I think it's going to get a lot worse before it even STARTS to get better.... and we the consumers are going to be paying the big price.
 

Chuck Finley69

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Well said. I think most folks realize there really isn't that much they can do about the ridiculous amount of data mining going on now, so they just tell themselves it's alright because they can trust Google, and that helps them sleep better at night. I was part of the Equifax breach, so I'll be looking over my shoulder and monitoring my credit for the rest of my life.

The whole data mining/data sharing is getting completely out of control, and the ones getting rich off of our data are not the ones we can depend on to protect us. I think it's going to get a lot worse before it even STARTS to get better.... and we the consumers are going to be paying the big price.
Most people know and don't care because their data is the way to pay for services. If people had to pay for everything with actual money, they'd opt to do without certain services. People knowingly trade-off what they see as equitable trade. Data traded isn't about the user only as much as the usage pattern too. Again, people will trade data over cash since cash for many isn't amply ready or available.
 

ManiacJoe

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Also consider how many of the services we want from Google are impossible without the data needed to build them...

Like what?

Web services require very little user data to work and very little user data to communicate between multiple services.

None of the data mining has anything to do with services to the users. It is all about advertising revenue. Granted, because of the advertising, we users get these services for "free"; but the two things are not co-joined.
 

Itsa_Me_Mario

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Like what?

Web services require very little user data to work and very little user data to communicate between multiple services.

None of the data mining has anything to do with services to the users. It is all about advertising revenue. Granted, because of the advertising, we users get these services for "free"; but the two things are not co-joined.
The entirety of their product offering, maps, assistant, smart replies, photos, the keyboard, etc. is created by leveraging extreme analytics to teach machines how humans actually use these products.
 

Almeuit

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For me? Nope. I know what they collect -- I allowed it -- and I know what they do with it. Sure they allow 3rd party people to use it but by going through them -- therefore the 3rd party doesn't know who I am or anything. I find that the best one versus the others that say they will give to 3rd parties .. then who knows what they do with it.
 

LeoRex

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Like what?

Google leverages your data everywhere, especially for searches... Your search results are catered to you, specifically. Search attempts to guess what you are asking based on past searches and other items like your location, etc. To many other services to count.. preemptively giving you directions to a location that you might drive to every Tuesday, for instance. Or building a Google play music playlist that actually plays the stuff you listen to, reminding you that you have a bill to pay, etc.

This isn't a one way street... Far from it.
 

Ping-Sock

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For me? Nope. I know what they collect -- I allowed it -- and I know what they do with it. Sure they allow 3rd party people to use it but by going through them -- therefore the 3rd party doesn't know who I am or anything. I find that the best one versus the others that say they will give to 3rd parties .. then who knows what they do with it.

Well they could be doing anything with it, You can never know what they are doing with it.
They could be selling it to advertisers, Looking through security files, Seeing what you're doing everyday, You can never know what google is doing with it.

Also your google device could be hacked any time and the hacker can get acceses to what you're saying,listening to,data,etc. It's still not safe.
 

Almeuit

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Well they could be doing anything with it, You can never know what they are doing with it.
They could be selling it to advertisers, Looking through security files, Seeing what you're doing everyday, You can never know what google is doing with it.

Also your google device could be hacked any time and the hacker can get acceses to what you're saying,listening to,data,etc. It's still not safe.
I'm pretty sure Google wouldn't put out a policy and then just fully go against it. Sure "could" they? Yeah.. but they also aren't dumb.

Hacked is another whole topic. That's something no one wants or goes for. I don't want someone in my bank but if they hack it they get my money... So should I not use banks? Yeah no.

Also if we go down your line of thought.. any company could do that, right? So where do we go or who do we trust?
 

Ping-Sock

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I'm pretty sure Google wouldn't put out a policy and then just fully go against it. Sure "could" they? Yeah.. but they also aren't dumb.

Hacked is another whole topic. That's something no one wants or goes for. I don't want someone in my bank but if they hack it they get my money... So should I not use banks? Yeah no.

Also if we go down your line of thought.. any company could do that, right? So where do we go or who do we trust?

I never said that you shouldn't use google.
 

anon(10092459)

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For me at least, and the way I use Google's services, the data collection is important. I use my tech for information and curated information saves time and money. I want my tech experience to be as tailored to my life as possible, which is one of the reasons I choose Google and also Android.

Transparency is also important to me and I'm yet to find another company as transparent as Google with data collection.
 

Almeuit

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I never said that you shouldn't use google.

I know. Just saying you basically said that any company could say one thing and do other. True .. so who do you use?

I am pretty sure Google wouldn't lie about it. Not only would that just bring bad press... Why wouldn't they do it how they do it? A.k.a keep the info for themselves and provide ads to the users for the third party (hence they get paid). Either way they can still make money off the information without actually telling the 3rd party who you are.
 

LeoRex

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they can still make money off the information without actually telling the 3rd party who you are.

Yep... They sell directed marketing. A company can buy ad space and have it directed to the demographic they want to target. Sports loving men 25-40, mothers, etc. A company is far more likely to get a hit with an ad if it's shown to a person that is interested.

And this all can be done without the business having any personal data about you. It's pretty much the same as buying commercials during a particular show... You don't know exactly who sees it, but you know the type of person.
 

anon(10092459)

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You know, I'm kinda on this topic now, but really shifting a bit from Google to just data collection in and of itself. I'm one to be resolved that being a user of technology means that there is data collection happening all the time. Not just from Google or Apple of MS, but the service providers as well. I checked the Privacy Policies and it's all spelled out. All of which I personally am 100% alright with. Then one more step, record retention, popped into my head.

https://articles.forensicfocus.com/2017/04/18/cellular-provider-record-retention-periods/

All cellular service providers retain different types of data for different time periods. When investigating a case, it’s important to know how long you may have access to this data for, otherwise it could be an investigative red herring. It’s also important to note that these retention policies are not written in stone and can be modified by the provider at any time. The retention periods below were provided by each of the 5 major U.S. Cellular carriers themselves on the date of this publication:

Verizon Wireless
Subscriber Information: 7-10 years
Call History: 7 years
Tower Locations as they related to Call History: 1 rolling calendar year
SMS Content: 3-5 days (although I’ve been told unofficially it may be as much as 7-10 days)
Tower Dumps: 1 year
Range to Tower (RTT) Data: 8 days

AT&T
Subscriber Information: 7 Years
Call History: 7 years
Tower Locations as they related to Call History: 7 years
SMS Content: Not Available
Tower Dumps: 7 years
Range to Tower (RTT) Data: 180 days

Sprint
Subscriber Information: 10 years
Call History: 18 months. Bill reprint form 7-10 years, pre-pay accounts only 18 months regardless.
Tower Locations as they related to Call History: 18 months
SMS Content: Not Available
Tower Dumps: 18 months
Range to Tower (RTT) Data: 14-90 days. The technician advised that after 14 days, certain detail in these records is purged, but the remainder is kept for up to 90 days.

T-Mobile
Subscriber Information: 3-5 years. Canceled accounts are purged after account closes.
Call History: 23 months
Tower Locations as they related to Call History: 23 months
SMS Content: Not Available
Tower Dumps: 3 months
Range to Tower (RTT) Data: 23 months. This seems rather long to me, but the technician repeated it on the phone.

U.S. Cellular
Subscriber Information: up to 7 years
Call History: 1 rolling calendar year. Bill reprint: 7 years.
Tower Locations as they related to Call History: 1 rolling calendar year
SMS Content: 3-5 days
Tower Dumps: 1 rolling calendar year
Range to Tower (RTT) Data: Not Available (technician stated would be coming soon).
 

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