Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Google tracks every step you take

Norwegian Consumer Council and seven European consumer organisations have filed a complaint today against Google, arguing that Google uses deceptive design and misleading information in order to acquire users' consent to constant tracking (New study: Google manipulates users into constant tracking). How would the users be tracked? Well, if you have an Android phone or use Google accounts on other devices, then it is likely that you are one of the victims of constant tracking, as Google accounts have 'location history' and 'web&app activity' integrated in their settings. You may have been prompted/manipulated to switch on such location history, without having realised that. Having read the above information you may think that Google has 'simply' access to your GPS data. Would you know though how detailed this data is (incl. determining which floor you are at in a particular building, which room in the house) and that it may be linked to other information, e.g., your online search results? The combined data may, of course, then be used for targeted advertising, increasing its effectiveness. Would you know how to switch it off and how to avoid having it be switched on again? If this short post does not make you want to check your phone and its settings, maybe you should look up the whole report on the study of Google tracking practices that has been published: Every step you take.

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