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Let’s run through a little thought experiment.
Imagine there’s a list somewhere that contains every single webpage you have visited in the last five years. It also has everything you have ever searched for, every address you looked up on Google GOOG +1.86% Maps, every email you sent, every chat message, every YouTube video you watched.
Each entry is time-stamped, so it’s clear exactly, down to the minute, when all of this was done.
Now imagine that list is all searchable. And imagine it’s on a clean, easy-to-use website. With all that imagined, can you think of a way a hacker, with access to this, could use it against you?
And once you’ve imagined all that, go over to google.com/dashboard, and see it all become reality.
For a piece complementing today’s story on Google and privacy by the WSJ’s Amir Efrati, I took a deep dive into Google Dashboard, a kind of Grand Central Terminus for all the information the company has stored on you. It’s a truly amazing amount, especially if, like me, you have been a heavy Gmail user since its launch in 2004.
As long as you are logged into Gmail, or any other Google account, the company isn’t just keeping track of how you use its own service - it’s noting every site you visit on the web.
Originally posted by MystikMushroom
This is why I:
1. Don't have an android phone
2. Don't use my gmail for anything other than stuff that will send me spam
3. Don't log in to google when I browse the web
4. Refuse to link my youtube account under my real name
5. Don't log into youtube unless I am uploading a video
6. Don't use the play store for anything, at all
7. Don't use google wallet (never have)
8. Don't allow google to store my passwords (never have)
9. Have location services turned off
10. Don't use google docs
I realize though that the majority of the zombified masses aren't tech-savy at all, and for them these features are "totally awesome!" and "save me so much time!".
That's the thing, all of these data collection points are sold to everyone as convenience tools. People don't bother to check their settings, understand where their data is going or how it is used.
If you are creeped out by Google, don't give them anything to be creeped out about.
The Wi-Fi scan-only mode, while somewhat obscure, is a new feature that could help conserve your battery. The feature, when enabled, lets Google’s location service and other apps scan for networks, even when Wi-Fi is off. This means you can improve your location accuracy without the continuous drain. That said, there is a way to turn it really off. Amadeo wrote under the “advanced” menu is the option to turn off the “Scanning always available feature.” This will “make ‘off for Wi-Fi really be ‘off,’” he said.