#google knows

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In this golden era, one cannot have the luxury of privacy; and with the contemporaneous stage of the internet, it is near impossible.

Here at slingshot labs while working on our recent brief, we have been delving into the world of connectivity, IOT and how data can add value to our lives. When designing with connectivity in mind- we have to think about the bigger picture and this week we have been thinking about  our personal data and what #googleknows!

“It’s no secret that Google knows a lot about you”.

-Becca Caddy, Wired UK

Google drive, a sacred place for personal data; one gets the  impression when using it that you get to save all your data secretly. All the data must therefore be secure from everyone, unless you give them your password, or forget to close your session on a public computer. But, from google, a.k.a. “the data father”, this may not actually be the case. At Google they keep an eye on all your browsing history and activities in each session, on your laptop or mobile phone.

A quick example: If you’re using an android phone, and suddenly you receive a “message”, saying your ‘estimated time’, ‘the fastest route’, for your route from “work” to “home”, google is analyzing and monitoring your activity. This may seem good, if you allow this and you get home faster. They use your data accumulated when you previously searched the fastest route home. Therefore the next time you come to a similar time to your previous search  it suggests the search before you do it, not magic, but data ! The fastest route, is proposed through a mix of the traffic suppliers, such as Waze, Maps & INRIX, based also on your previous preferences of car/ public transport/ bicycle etc.

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Google doesn’t make a huge song and dance about its in-depth knowledge of its users, but at the same time it doesn’t keep it a secret either.

Examples of google getting to know you:

-Google saves every voice search: Anyone who use Google’s voice search or the voice-activated assistant, Google Now, have their searches stored so that more relevant ads are served and search features are steadily improved — in the same way you’d expect from regular Google search.

 -Google saves all your searches: Probably the least surprising of the lot, but Google has all of your search history stored up.

 -Google tracks and records your location: Google’s location history, or timeline page, serves up a Google Map and allows you to select specific dates and times and see where you were. Its accuracy depends on whether you were signed into your Google account and carrying a phone or tablet at the time.

Now let’s go deeper into the things google can reach:

-Email accounts

-Android service

-Web apps

-Social media accounts

-Online shopping History

-Uploads and download history

Now think about this, is this useful to you, or does it make you want  to live in a dungeon?

We would love to hear from you…tell us your experiences, opinions and if all of this is helpful for your daily life- see our contact page!

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