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Commentary

Google's File on You Is 10x Bigger Than Facebook's... Here's How to Download It

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If you’re like the average internet user, you probably use Google on a daily basis. Between search, email, documents, phone operating systems and other services, Google is perhaps the most pervasive force on the entire internet, undergirding huge parts of it.

While Facebook is the big headline-maker in terms of privacy — prompting numerous people to cancel their accounts or download Facebook’s file on them — Google hasn’t really been under the microscope.

Yet, Google’s file on you is quite a bit bigger. How big? Dylan Curran, a web developer from Ireland, found out firsthand when he looked at what the software giant had collected on him.

In his case, it was 5.5GB — more than 10 times what Facebook had on him, according to Zero Hedge.

Curran chronicled the whole thing via Twitter, and it definitely seems to have touched a nerve.

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“Want to freak yourself out? I’m gonna show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it,” Curran wrote back in March.

Curran found out that the web giant had a record of everywhere he’d been in his home country of Ireland for the last 12 months, including details about when he was there and how long it took him to get from one point to another.

As NBC News points out, Google doesn’t sell your information in the same way that Facebook does.

However, just because it won’t get itself embroiled in the same kind of Cambridge Analytica-style scandal that Mark Zuckerberg’s company finds itself in doesn’t mean that there aren’t issues with this data collection. As Curran notes, the point is to track you so that they can tailor ads to your location and previous searches, among other things.

The file Google keeps on you includes that creepy map and your entire online and search activity, what YouTube videos you watch, what apps you use and your advertising profile.

Curran wasn’t happy finding out what Google knew about him.

“I was really like: ‘Oh, my God. This is preposterous,'” he told NBC News.

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If you want to download your data, here’s the site. You can delete whatever data you want, although as Curran pointed out, this isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do.

Google, for its part, hasn’t really been caught up in the privacy controversy that’s plagued Facebook. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not at least trying to reassure people that their data is safe.

Are you concerned about Google's use of your private data?
Data helps improve our products, keep them safe, and — with your permission — tailor them to match your interest,” the company said when it rolled out its most recent privacy tool outlet.

“We build powerful, easy-to-use tools that enable you to adjust your privacy preferences, anytime. We’re constantly working to refine these tools based on your feedback.”

Whether those are just words remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure — a lot of internet users are going to be shocked to find out exactly what the search giant has on them.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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