In the wake of the Facebook scandal, Google’s data collection practices come under scrutiny
Google is one of the most utilized brands in a technological age. Its search algorithms, availability, and ease of maps makes Google a must know staple of today.
However, as Facebook and other big data companies are coming under public scrutiny for misuse of users’ personal data, Google may soon follow suit with increased scrutiny of its own questionable data collection practices, as NBC highlights in a recent report.
In 2018, Google is introducing advanced technology that would personalize itself to the needs of its users. These personalizations include but are not limited to a Google assistant that schedules appointment times over the phone and an email feature that can finish tentative sentences.
All of this is powered by the massive data Google collects on the habits, interests, and dislikes of its users. This allows for the data giant to optimize its advertising, its products and produce a $30 billion revenue in the first months of 2018 alone.
David Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School told NBC, “Google is walking a very fine line. Search, plus Android gives Google amazing insight into individual behavior. Google’s stated privacy policies seem adequate, but the question that I cannot answer is whether Google’s stated policy and actual behavior are one and the same. Facebook had a stated policy for the last three years which most of us found acceptable until Cambridge Analytica came to light.”
Dylan Curran, an information technology consultant, compared the data collection between Facebook and Google. When he downloaded all the information Facebook had on him, he got a 600-megabyte file. Google’s information on him was “nine times as large”.
Curran shared, “This is one of the craziest things about the modern age, we would never let the government or a corporation put cameras/microphones in our homes or location trackers on us, but we just went ahead and did it ourselves because… I want to watch cute dog videos.”