I have worked in digital strategy and advertising for my entire adult life. I buy advertising based on the data that Google and everyone else is gathering. Like millions of dollars a year. And I can tell you first hand that the tracking data is garbage, and frankly, at least for the foreseeable future, not something you should really be worried about, with one caveat. Advertisers are not the enemy, government and political agents are. ie. cambridge analytica. That is how you use this data to do harm.. We see literally thousands of advertisements a day. Does it *really* matter if my search history led to me seeing a different banner today?
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who else do you use to search with? the only other contender is Bing which is in second place as far as search engines who host data... so using bing is the same as using google. except whose servers have been hacked and whose haven't... oh yeah Microsoft has been hacked and google cloud still has yet to be hacked. Their gmail on the other hand.. well tough luck on that one because that gets hacked as much as microsoft and yahoo so you're on even ground there.
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this kind of article is funny. its a trade your privacy for convenient life world now. if you really care of privacy, you have already exposed your ip address to this website, your name to your reader, your billing address to your isp, your personal informtion to your credit card company. google just know as much as they know and more. and if i have to trade my privacy anyway, whynot choose one big company which protect your privacy data better and give you better service? instead of chose some small company and trust they not save your info....forever?
as far as email and browsers go.. yeah use a vpn, use a browser that doesnt track your stuff, thats fine. But none of the "secure" email services do well with mail@yourowndomain so your options are use gsuite or microsoft or leave your email on the most insecure place possible, the same server your website is on? no thanks. ill stick with the company that is big enough to keep blowing money on security as i am more worried about other people getting my information than i am of facebook sending me ads based on things ive spoken out loud near my phone or searched for.
Let's just be clear.. Google is not tracking "you", they're tracking a completely anonymized id that is consistent, and this has absolutely zero influence over your "privacy". Privacy does matter and if Google were responsible for ACTUALLY breaching your privacy or anyone else's there'd be hell to pay, but the reality is they are probably more careful than anyone to protect their users. Your activity is tracked by every single site on the internet, not just by Google. Do you really trust the alternatives more?
Stop using Gmail. Your incoming and outgoing emails contain useful data that Google is happy to hoover up. Try one of these secure and encrypted alternatives The 3 Most Secure & Encrypted Email Providers Online The 3 Most Secure & Encrypted Email Providers Online Fed up with government surveillance? Concerned your emails might be read by third parties? If so, it's worth looking at an encrypted email solution to protect your messages. Read More instead.
Most people are too usual, too boring as to be of any interest. No one at Google cares what TV-Show average-Joe watches or what mails you write. If you'd stop considering your life or existence "important", you can enjoy everything Google provides for free. The world will be exactly the same 50 years after you have died, nobody's is really important , so stop complaining about someone watching you - nobody gives a sh... about your "secrets"