Welcome to The Era of “No Privacy” – You Maybe Tracked Hundreds Times A Day

On January 21, local time, according to evidence provided by the French National Data Protection Council (CNIL), Google’s user agreement violated the General Data Protection Regulation (the General Data Protection Regulation) that was updated in Europe in 2018. ), French regulators fined Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc for 50 million euros!

This is the highest amount of penalties that a company has suffered in violation of the Privacy Data Act in Europe to date. When a number of English-language technology media reported, they used “record high” (breaking record high) to describe the penalties.

According to the latest regulations in Europe, Google has a lot of specific projects. For example, the complete information of the data collection information is opaque, the user does not understand the situation data collection, data processing and storage time, etc., not all appear in the same location, the Google search engine does not obtain the user’s consent to collect targeted advertising data, and so on.

(Google has always advertised its own “do not do evil” advertising words

It seems very ironic now / figure from the network)

Is it the European government to “cut the Hu” or Google “do evil”?

The secret agent found a report published by Vanderbilt University in the United States – “Google Data Collection.” The 53-page report was written by Douglas C. Schmidt, the institution’s computer processor. This report reveals Google’s unrestrained data collection behavior.

(Douglas C. Schmidt, from Vanderbilt University)

The secret agent was surprised and even more deeply feared. So, how much data does Google collect for you? How do you take your data and use it? Below, let’s take a look at this report.

The professor did an experiment, however…

In order to do this experiment, Schmidt used a new Android phone, a new SIM and a newly registered Google account, and named the user “Jane”, telling us a day for a Google user. .

Let’s talk briefly about data sources and survey methods. Here, Professor Schmidt conducted the survey through the following four types of data:

  1. Data displayed by Google’s My Activity and Takeout

  2. The data intercepted by the Google server domain;

  3. Data appearing in Google’s privacy policy;

  4. Data collected by Google by third-party research institutions.

(The agent opened his own My Activity and the day’s activities were exposed.)

“A typical scenario is this:

For a user with a Google Account and an Android phone, Google collects data at a number of event touch points, such as location, route, purchased items, and listened to music. Surprisingly, Google collects or infers more than two-thirds of the information in a passive manner. At the end of the day, Google made a very accurate determination of user interest. ”

(Report screenshot)

It seems normal to see this, after all, the contemporary life of “no privacy, data leakage” is not unusual. So, what information is yours collected? How did Google collect it?

340 times a day to track, turn off the phone, not use Google, turn WIFI is useless

In terms of quantity, Google’s servers transmit 11.6 MB of data every day through Android devices, constantly uploading backups to the background. Personal user information for Android mobile phones includes name, mobile number, birthday, zip code, credit card number, activity on the phone (applications and websites used, including how to use it).

(Report screenshot: A standard user Google and Apple, Android and IOS devices collect data comparison)

From the above picture, we can also see that the frequency of Android users being collected by Google is as high as 90 times/hour, which is more than double that of Google’s collection of Apple users . Interestingly, location coordinate data collection is also “very smart,” and the amount of data being used is 1.4 times higher than that of unopened phones.

However, the following experiment found that the collection method began to make people think. Below, officially take you to experience the “intimate service” exclusive to Google users, a full range of ” passive collection ” is Google’s unique secret device.

“A dormant Android phone that transmits location information to Google 340 times within 24 hours as long as the Chrome background is active . Location information accounts for 35% of all data samples sent to Google. In contrast, there is no Chrome browser installed. Google’s iOS Apple device, Google can’t collect any data.”

(Report screenshot)

Experiments have further shown that even if users don’t interact with any of the key Google apps, Google can still collect a lot of information through its advertisers and publisher products. “As long as Android phone users turn on their phones, passive data collection has increased dramatically, accounting for 46% of all requests from Google servers.”

Even if you don’t open any of Google’s apps and don’t use Google search, passive communication with Google’s server domain will increase significantly. Why did Google collect data like this, and where did the collected data go?

A good show: discount “anonymous” flag anti-tracking

The secret agent believes that everyone has already guessed that the core of the impact of this part of the data activity is Google advertising profit tools – Google Ads, Google Analytics and Google Ad Manager. Google’s tools for merchants are unique in the world, and publisher tools include AdSense and advertiser tools such as AdMob and AdWords.

How do these tools no longer apply your information in a platform-like way?

(Report screenshots, note not the same as above: information that Apple and Google devices are sent from the client)

Google used the collected data in the system to mark the alleged “anonymous users”, and nakedly interpreted “there is no silver three hundred and two here.” why?

Because Google collects activity data from its own related apps and third-party web pages, and then associates with the user’s Google identity. The “device identification” is mainly transmitted to the Google server through the Android device. At the same time, the “advertising identifier” also came in handy at this time, forming a complete closure.

Google is able to link the so-called “anonymous data” collected in a passive way with the user’s personal information –  around a large circle, and finally spend a lot of time using “legal means” to apply user information.

Similarly, Google Ad Manager’s cookie ID, which tracks user activity cache information on third-party web pages, is another allegedly “user anonymous” identifier. If a user accesses the Google app in the same browser, Google can access the third-party webpage before connecting it to the user’s Google account.

Look at it? The secret agent helps you stay awake, and the characteristics of Google’s data collection are:

  1. Using a variety of products, various technologies collect user data in ways that are not easily detectable by the average user.

  2. The main part of Google’s data collection happens when users don’t use any of Google’s products directly, especially on Android mobile devices.

  1. While information is typically collected when users are anonymous, Google clearly has the ability to de-anonymize such collections using data collected from other sources.

This complete report is very long, and I hope that students who are interested in researching the experimental methods and the experimental process will carefully explore it. The secret agent does not specifically talk about the specific details of the technology and where the user is advertised.

Because, it is too much.

Personalized advertising on YouTube is just one example. Google’s advertising business covers 90% of global users and 2 million mainstream websites. Your life has been clearly and clearly understood by Google’s “data manipulation.”

Is this very similar to an episode in Black Mirror?

In the report, it is summarized: “In the above products, Google collects a wide range of information about people’s online and real-world behaviors, and then uses them to target advertising. For example, with the improvement of positioning technology and data, Google’s The income has increased significantly.

Charles O. Neal

Author: Charles O. Neal

Used to work in Microsoft security department and now is concentrating on Mac problems research. Thousands of readers have got great benefits from his articles.