The answer for me is a resoundingly definitive NO! And I don't want to. I am deeply hooked into the Google ecosystem from Chrome OS and Android to Chromecast and a huge collection of their services. And I must admit I thoroughly enjoy having access to and using them even with the knowledge that Google uses them to collect a lot of data about me. That said, I feel that Google really does do a good job of letting me know when and how it is collecting my data as well as how they use it. Do I trust them 100%? No. There are certain things that I do take precautions to protect, be it encrypting certain documents I store in the cloud, using a vpn and incognito mode when appropriate, as well as using services, apps, and backups from other providers. In the end though, when all is said and done, I cannot think of one single thing that Google has done to harm me in any tangible way.
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines—including Google—do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities." Eric Schmidt.
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#With all browsers closed, in Windows Control Panel > Programs and Features (or Add or Remove Programs), if you see "Default Tab" remove it #Start Firefox and verify that "Default Tab" is not in Add-ons > Extensions; if it is click to "Remove" then restart Firefox. #You '''''may''''' need to set your home page in Firefox if a search page leading to "Search Results" or "My Search Results" appears when starting Firefox - https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/How%20to%20set%20the%20home%20page #You '''''may''''' need to remove "Search Results" or "My Search Results" from your list of installed search engines in the Search Bar in the upper right (click on the image at the left end of the Search Bar and choose "Manage Search Engines") - https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/search-bar-easily-choose-your-search-engine#w_removing-a-search-engine #You '''''may''''' need to reset your default search engine used in the Location/URL bar search by resetting the preference '''keyword.URL''' - https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/search-web-address-bar#w_changing-the-internet-keyword-service #*How to use '''''about:config''''' - http://kb.mozillazine.org/About:config #You '''''may''''' need to reset a preference if "Search Results" or "My Search Results" is appearing as a search engine every time you open a new tab (follow steps 1-4 below the image to determine what opens when you click to open a new tab; see '''''about:config''''' usage above) - https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/new-tab-page-show-hide-and-customize-top-sites#w_how-do-i-turn-the-new-tab-page-off ---------------------------------- Other - You should check your Plugins and update as needed. #Check your Plugins - https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/plugincheck/ #'''''Adobe Shockwave for Director Netscape plug-in, version 11.6.5.635''''' (not the same as Flash/Flash Player/Shockwave Flash) #*http://kb.mozillazine.org/Shockwave #*Download, save to your hard drive, close all browsers, run the installer you saved to your hard drive - http://get.adobe.com/shockwave/thankyou/


I gave Bing a chance because of the rewards. That was a year ago. I learned 2 important lessons over those 12 months: Bing's rewards are terrible, but Bing search results are worse. I am glad to be back to Google search. But I agree with the premise of this article: with so much data running through Google tools, individual privacy is at risk. Time to find a new browser and/or a new search engine.

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?
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