Following Facebook’s data breach involving Cambridge Analytica, people have become extremely interested and worried as to what personal information the social media network snatches from them. Some users are deleting their Facebook accounts in the wake of the damning report, including Elon Musk, who deactivated the Facebook pages for Tesla and SpaceX. While this is all very concerning, the amount of data that Facebook has on you pales in comparison to the personal information that Google collects.
Facebook acknowledged that they do keep a detailed record of every phone call and text message you make, but Google may be even worse. In an eye-opening Twitter thread, an IT expert demonstrated just how much personal data that Google stockpiles from searches, email, and general smartphone usage.
Dylan Curran, a technical consultant and web developer, shared the vast amount of data that Google has amassed on him since 2008. From Google Search to Google Drive to Google Maps, all of these products keep crazy amounts of personal data to provide convenience and targeted ads. Even when he deleted items, the data was still lingering in Google years later.
When Curran downloaded all of his Facebook information, it was roughly 600 MB, equivalent to approximately 400,000 Word documents. However, when he downloaded all of his information off of Google, it was an enormous 5.5 GB, roughly 3 million Word documents. Curran’s shocking Twitter thread has gone viral, notching over 157,000 retweets and 243,000 Likes.
In February, a reporter for the Tucker Carlson Tonight news show traveled around the District of Columbia to see how Google was tracking him by using his smartphone. The experiment had two smartphones, both had no SIM card in them and one of the phones was on Airplane Mode. Despite being deactivated and not using service or WiFi, Google was able to gather a worrying amount of information on both phones.