By Joshua Christensen
Tech giants, especially Google, all track users online though browser cookies. Malicious intent is not their purpose, it lets Google give away useful products like Gmail. Should users desired to disable online tracking, understanding how and why companies track them is useful.
“I don’t think Google should track me when I use YouTube because the information about me is priceless and a service like YouTube would cost $5 a month. It’s just not worth it,” Mason McKelleb, senior, said.
“I think that some company shouldn’t know more about me and my habits than I do. Who knows who they are and what they want to do with my information?” Justin Chang, freshman, said.
Google is leading the charge in managing the data collected. By visiting the my activity page, users can view what has been collected. The activity controls page lets people turn off and on different methods of collection which puts users in control of their data when they don’t want a website to know more about them than they do.
“Much of our business is based on showing ads, both on Google services and on websites and mobile apps that partner with us. Ads help keep our services free for everyone. We use [tracking] data to show you these ads, but we do not sell personal information,” informs Google’s privacy page.
While ads can be useful to users and large companies, knowing how these services work helps keep users in control of their personal data.