What Google and Facebook Know about Me

In short, they know almost everything about you. But something can also be done with this.

Internet giants really know almost everything about us that you can learn about a person on the network. We give part of this information to them voluntarily during registration, the rest they collect on their own – a user agreement that no one ever reads allows them to do this. Let’s see what these companies actually know about us.

Why Do Companies Collect Data?

Internet companies receive a substantial portion of advertising revenue. Advertisers are willing to pay to ensure that their ads are shown to the right people – those who match the portrait of the consumer: “A man 33-35 years old divorced after his first marriage”, “Young mother in California with an anxious personality disorder” and all that. The more data the advertising site has, the more detailed the portrait of the consumer, the better for the advertiser.

Let’s say a local company wants to sell new furniture that suits those who care about the environment. She comes to Google and says – guys, what can you offer me? And they answer – look, we can show your advertisement to those who live within a radius of 15 kilometers from you, go in for sports, support eco-organizations, donated some amount this year to the environment and oppose deforestation of Elk Island.

This, of course, is an exaggerated situation, and everything is a little more complicated in life, but the general principle is the same: the more precisely the advertiser can gather the right audience, the more expensive he can sell the advertisement. This approach explains why many services work for free – they take information about you from you instead of money. And often this is much more profitable than getting a few hundred rubles a year from a user.

Let’s see what Google and Facebook already know about us and what can be done about it. The methods for collecting information from other companies are the same – and they can also be managed.

What Does Google Know about Me

If you would ask: Does google know everything? I`ll answer “Yes, Google knows everything about you“. Google stores all searching webs, every search query that you made, even if you were not logged in to your account. He understands that you are you, in many other ways: IP address, files on your computer, time zone, location, and so on. See all your inquiries here: myactivity.google.com/myactivity

By the way, here you can find a site that you wanted to save yourself, but forgot, and then closed. Google remembers!

Your movements. If you have a phone with Android and you did not change anything in the settings, then Google recorded all your movements with the phone from the moment of its purchase. Even if you change your phone but use the same account, the story continues to be recorded. From this data it is easy to calculate where you live, work, where you go to relax and so on. Take a look: google.com/maps/timeline?pb

The apps you use. If you enter the application through a Google account, then Google gets access to statistics on this application. He watches how often you use it, what time, how long and so on. Sometimes you can understand by the applications used what kind of person uses them, what habits, goals or work tasks he has. Application List: security.google.com/settings/security/permissions

Advertising preferences. This is what everything is started for – your advertising profile, unless, of course, you have disabled personalization in the settings. Look at yourself through the eyes of the advertiser, and, if necessary, disable this option here: google.com/settings/ads/

Views and YouTube search history. The company saves every search query and analyzes every video you watch. It collects statistics on the duration of views, key moments of the video, playback speed, subscriptions and dozens of other parameters. Based on these data, Google can find out your political views, attitude towards children or same-sex marriage and understand what goods or services you are most interested in now. Your secrets: youtube.com/feed/history/search_history

For the strong in spirit – download the full archive of all the information about yourself. By law, companies are required to provide the user with all the information they have collected about him and provide access to it upon request. In the case of Google, this is an almost complete digital copy of your life, which in the archive can take several tens of gigabytes. Full stuffing: google.com/takeout

What Data Does Facebook Collect

So what information does Facebook collect? To see the scale of the collection of information, here’s a fact for you: Facebook receives data about each page that you download, where there is a “Share on Facebook” or “Like” button. This means that he knows everything about your preferences, interests, hobbies and secret hobbies. Porn too.

By the way you form your feed, comment on posts and like, the social network understands what category you belong to: in politics, finance, attitudes towards children, opposition moods and so on. Even the phone model from which you flip Facebook is also taken into account to more accurately profile you as a consumer.

In general, Facebook collects no less data than Google, but it doesn’t do so explicitly, because many settings are hidden deep in the system. Everything that the social network knows about you can be found here: facebook.com/settings?tab=your_facebook_information

There are many sections and blocks, you can hang for several hours, considering yourself from the point of view of a social network. For example, if you go to the “Advertisers and Companies” section, you will be shown those companies that themselves uploaded data about you to Facebook and use them in advertising:

Three out of eight companies know the author’s mail or phone number, although he hears about them for the first time in his life

As in the previous case, you can also download the entire archive of data that Facebook has collected about you: facebook.com/settings?tab=your_facebook_information

It turns out that if you delve into the archive, you can find out that Facebook knows everything about your address book, calendar events, sees the browser history and downloaded files. There you can even find podcasts that you once listened to, or stickers that you sent to your friends in the messenger! We don’t know why this is necessary, but Facebook really stores everything that was connected with you and what it can reach.

What now

There is no privacy on the Internet. The Internet is available to us for a penny or for free precisely because advertisers pay for all this.

You can reduce the amount of information collected by disabling this in the application settings, but you won’t be able to completely get rid of it.

Even if you don’t use the Internet, companies will still know a lot about you.

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