Do You Need A Google Alarm?
There has been a lot of talk recently, even from Google themselves, about data. With the resources, myriad products and millions of visitors a day, Google is in a prime position to collect data on nearly all of us, and apparently they do even if you don’t use Google. This data really equates to cash, as they can either use it themselves or sell it on, and Google have even pitched the idea of an information sale platform.
So, a technology entrepreneur, Jamie Wilkinson, has developed a browser plugin ‘Google Alarm’ that loudly buzzes and flashes anytime you visit a website that sends information to Google Analytics. He is quoted as wanting to
change the collection of data through tracking bugs that are installed all over the Web from a very silent experience to a loud one.
A bit of a gimmick maybe, but it does a very good (and annoying) job of letting you know just how many supposedly unaffiliated websites track and send your browsing data. A few examples of these ‘behind the scenes’ Internet protocols that work as Google’s “tracking bugs” are: Google Analytics, Google AdSense, YouTube embeds and API calls, all of which can be used to monitor & track your personal web browsing habits.
Google’s rebuttal to all of this is that it’s just a noisy waste of time. They claim anyone who has installed Analytics has been told what information will be collected, and privacy settings changed via the Google Dashboard. However, the point was to raise awareness, so we’re on Jamie’s side, we accept far too many terms and conditions these days without knowing what they actually entail.
Get the Google Alarm here