Here’s one you may not know about and affects your online activities even if you avoid Google. It’s called Google Analytics. Websites and applications use Analytics to track visitors to their websites. Sneaky, right?
Behind The Scenes
On the surface, Analytics is a good thing for websites and application developers because it gathers information about visitors and users so they get better information about trends and habits.
What’s wrong with that?
First, you’re giving up information about you and your online habits to a third party, and it’s likely you didn’t know it when you visited a website. Second, Analytics gathers information about what kind of device you’re using during the visit, which pages you visited, how much time on each page, and much more.
See a problem there?
Mac360 used Google Analytics for over a decade and the information was more interesting than it was valuable, so, as the privacy era began to blossom, we ditched Analytics a few years ago. No ad trackers, no analytics trackers, not even a cookie on Mac360.
Why is tracking bad for your online health?
Analytics gathers data about you; where you live, what devices you use online, which website pages you view, how you use specific applications, and while Google says it does not track personally identifiable data, all that information can be sifted and filtered into an online dossier– perfect for advertisers to use to sell you more or to manipulate your thinking, and for government entities to track your online whereabouts.
How is that good for you?
Tracking is a fact of life for members of the online community and while future governmental regulation may help minimize what gets captured, we have to deal with the here and now.
Your internet service provider captures information. Google captures information in Gmail, Google’s various applications, like Maps and Waze. Websites capture information during your visits (Google Analytics is the most used analytics system on the internet). All of that information should be private but once gathered, sifted, filtered, and sold, you become a victim of sales and manipulation in ways you may not fully understand and certainly would not appreciate.
Google is not the only offender, but certainly the worst and the most ubiquitous. The website No More Google has a list of alternatives to Google’s services and applications.
As to your visits to the Apple Villagers websites, we have a strict No Tracking policy. No ad trackers. No analytics trackers. No cookies. It isn’t easy, but it works.