Let’s face it. Sometimes you have to make a decision. The handwriting is on the wall. The line is drawn in the sand. Wrong is, well, just wrong; and doing something about what is wrong is, well, the right thing to do.
Let’s take online tracking that has reached the point of stalking. Who does such shenanigans? Google. Facebook. And many others. Google’s CEO might tell Congress that the company is not biased, but no entity on earth tracks users with as much abandon as the search engine giant.
Enough is enough.
Chrome Is Banned
This week I read a crazy-assed article that set my hair on fire. Not literally. If I had more hair, maybe. I was hot under the color. Brooke Crothers on Fox:
How to stop Apple and Google from tracking you
Apple? Got an axe to grind much, Brooke? Where the hell is Facebook? When it comes to online trackers, Apple is not part of the problem. Apple is part of the solution. Oh, and where the hell is Facebook in your article? I searched. Couldn’t find it.
Apple and Google can track your every move.
No, they cannot. They can track most of your online moves, and for differing reasons and situations, but it’s likely that Google does the tracking and stalking thing 10 times what Apple does. Maybe even 100 times Apple. Why is Apple even on the list?
The tracking and snooping that Apple and Google do isn’t necessarily a nefarious plot to spy on you. It can make apps more useful.
Well, you’re half right. Apple’s tracking, minimized and anonymized like crazy, is not a nefarious plot. Apple is upfront about what data it gathers and how it is used. Google is not upfront about anything, and that makes their efforts a nefarious plot to obfuscate the why and the how enough to confuse the average Google app user.
Think about it. Free apps is like free candy at the dentist. Google wants something in return.
It’s not always clear how app providers harvest and use this data. There’s no telling, for example, how a shopping or dating app may use your data.
Yes, once they cull your personal data nobody knows where it goes but it doesn’t just sit in some database somewhere. Information culled from you has legs and travels to dozens of entities, each one working diligently to build a dossier about you.
Apple’s Settings have Privacy and Location Services which can inhibit which apps track you but there is more data gathering going on with Google’s many sources of data collection than with any Apple product.
With Google, it can be a little more involved because Google is not only in charge of Android but its reach extends to the popular Chrome browser and to Google Search.
There we go. And that’s why I refuse to use Chrome or Google search. The line in the sand is drawn because I can read the handwriting on the wall. Yeah, I know. Sorry. There was a mixed metaphor sale at Costco.
Google’s Chrome browser tracks you while you’re online. It’s even worse when you login to Google and then use Chrome as they know who is using the browser. Google’s search is just as nefarious. Use DuckDuckGo or Try A Search Engine Better Than Google.
When the product is free you are the product
Tim Cook said the same thing. But do the math yourself. Chrome and most Google apps are free. Why are they free? Because as you use them you leave a trail online and in usage habits. Google and other advertisers and applications track all what you do and use the data it collects to target advertising and content at you.
Consider going for a premium or, at a minimum, an ads-free version of an app/game you’re using or interested in. When you pay for services there’s no incentive to sell your data
If only that were true. Even premium, non-ads-free apps collect data, so make sure you cut off their air supply in Settings.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment for comment on this story. Google provided pages that explain how to manage your location data on Android devices and in apps.
Where the hell is Facebook, Brooke? When it comes to privacy, Google and Apple are not the same. When it comes to privacy, Google and Facebook are like evil twin step-brothers who don’t particularly like Apple at all.
I don’t use Chrome on my Mac. Not on iPhone or iPad, either. And I don’t use Google to search. There are alternatives. I may not stop all of my trackers, but I’m intent on stopping the worst trackers.