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Jb Piacentino

How much does Google really know about you?

3 min read

Have a look at this infographic from Conosco. It's pretty scary.



This is of course not the first time I read such thing, but one to admit that this concentration of Google logos for each and every facet of our digital lives is chilling.

Scary, because you realize that everything you do, Google knows. They own most of the most popular online services: search, email, maps, online storage, mobile phones operating system, web browser... All of them are free to you and ad-sponsored, which means they are designed to know you better, to collect data about you and to seize the best opportunity to sell more ads at a better price.

Scary and insidious because most of us don't really care. After all, using Google does not hurt, does it? It's free, very easy, and extremely useful. What could be wrong with that? Nothing really, until you wake up one day and realize that all alternatives have disappeared. Nothing wrong if you accept to only read, see, hear what Google thinks is best - best for their profits, and your blind but cozy experience with them. There's nothing wrong with this, until you witness that even our democracies struggle to recoup their own digital sovereignty.
Nothing wrong, but a few possible consequences indeed.

It's not easy to resist this. It takes decisions, and efforts sometimes.

A simple first step is to seek for alternatives. And the good news is that they exist for each of Google's most popular services. They are not necessarily less aggressive with your personal data, although some build their competitive advantage on privacy. But at least, you can bring some diversity in your digital life.
For example, I use Firefox instead of Chrome and Thunderbird instead of gmail. I recently set Qwant as my default search engine. I also use Hubic instead of Google drive.
Worth noting, I'm am currenlty giving Cozycloud a try. It is an free and open source personal cloud service providing greater control over my personal data, and with lots of applications to use them in a smart, respectful and private way.

The list is long, if not endless. It just takes curiosity but it's fairly easy to find an alternative. However, I still have not replaced my Android phone with an iPhone: I'm sadly not ready to take the pain of moving from one golden prison to the other.