It is now common knowledge that Google collects a lot of data about the users of its services. The company records every web search, saves data on every YouTube video viewed and creates detailed profiles of our internet usage behavior. Regardless of whether you use an iPhone or an Android device, Google Maps logs where you are going, which route you take and how long you stay there – even if you never open the app. Since June 2020, users have been able to restrict the storage of such data – in this guide we will show you how to do it. A look at your own Google user profile can still be unsettling: Google’s image of a person is often frighteningly close to reality. It is also well known that, for example, Facebook has implemented pixels on other websites that track you across the Internet. On the basis of this data, advertising that could be relevant for you is then played out. This advertising is also called personalized advertising.
What is personalized advertising?
Personalized advertising refers to the targeted addressing of users: with advertising that is relevant to them based on data about their Internet usage behavior, interests associated with them and demographic characteristics such as age, gender or place of residence .
But what about incident sen that take place outside the internet?
Almost everyone has experienced the following scenario: You are talking to friends: inside or Colleagues about a product or your friends: in has a new sweater that you like, and it takes less than two days for advertising for exactly this consumer good to appear in your social media feed without you trying Google or at all would have interacted with the Internet in this regard.
How does it come about?
That much is clear: you are being eavesdropped on your mobile phones – usually not. This myth has already been refuted many times. The apps on your mobile phones collect a lot of data about you even without listening – for example by accessing your location data. So-called location tracking is carried out by a large number of apps. However, your location is apparently not just tracked by a multitude of apps, data is also apparently collected about which devices of other users are regularly in your vicinity. If a friend you spend time with has bought a sweater, it is not unlikely that sooner or later you will see advertising for this sweater. Apparently, this can even happen if she bought the sweater in a physical store instead of online. The New York Times 2019 showed how extensively the location of smartphone users is tracked in an interactive feature.
Collect data aggregators apparently not just data about each: n user: in the Internet itself, they also create data sets based on location – and other data, for example from social networks – and also take into account the people with whom you regularly interact online and offline. Their purchases and interests may then also be reflected in the advertising that you receive. Simply because it is assumed that you could share similar interests as people you enjoy spending time with or with whom you interact a lot on social media.
What can you do to stop this?
installing a Adblockers such as Ghostery or the use of commercial-free on request browser is probably the most obvious way to limit, tracking the web and advertising flood largely to escape whether personalized or not. Solutions such as the Firefox Facebook Container or the Facebook Disconnect extension can help prevent the social network from tracking your activities on the web.
Since iOS 14.5, iPhone users have more control inside
iPhone users: inside have been using iOS 14.5 the possibility of drastically restricting tracking. Before apps can track activities on other apps and websites, iOS users must explicitly allow this. This means that if an app wants to track you, you can either explicitly allow it or simply reject it. If you refuse tracking, you can still use the app to its full extent. In this case, the app cannot access a device’s IDFA number or track your activities using other information that would allow you to be identified. The IDFA number is a number that Apple assigns to devices in order to make them identifiable for the purpose of personalized advertising without revealing personal information. You can also turn off the location services on your Apple devices. However, some apps may not work if you deny them access to this information. If an app wants to access your location data for the first time, you will receive a notification in which you can confirm this access, allow or deny it once or always when using the respective app.
Google is following at least partially with Android 12
Google is apparently partly following with Android 12, even if the privacy features of the new version of the operating system cannot quite keep up with those of Apple overall.