Google and Data Collection

Fear, stutter and shake at the big bad Google, Apple, Yahoo and others — these companies are here to invade your privacy, steal your data and give you no way of understanding and seeing what they are doing.  False — at least not for all of these companies that are in the public eye.
This is how companies make their money
First, all companies that provide a free service are not out to get you.  Your data is NOT more important or special than anyone else’s.  But….  Your data is how you pay for a free service.  Let me explain.  Companies like Google make their money off of ads and serving those relevant ads to you.  In fact, 89% of Google’s revenue comes from serving ads.  Where do those ads come from?  Typically, search results that you enter and things that you click.
Companies are matched to a user based off of what they have entered into the search bar and pay for being promoted.  This type of promotion is called Google AdWords, learn more here.
google-search
Since more and more queries are being pushed into search this model tells companies that having an online ad would be value — making them pay top dollar to be placed in that section.  Additionally, there is a publisher program called Google AdSense and it allow webmasters to make money by displaying relevant ads on websites and blogs, learn more here.
Data Collection
Companies collect data off of you that you willingly provide.  Yes, I said willingly.  Terms of Service is one of the biggest “gotchas” in the industry, primarily because people don’t take the time to read them and wonder why company XYZ suddenly has their email address.  If you take the time to browse through you can easily see exactly what information the company will give away and what will not be given away.  If we continue to look at Google, they benefit off of not selling your data, instead they house that data to be used in-house between other connecting Google services, which in turn makes YOUR overall user-experience that much better.  If you need to know more information, check out Google’s privacy policy for yourself here.
googleadrevenue
Source: Quora

Bottom line:  If there is an ad you don’t like from Google an email you don’t appreciate getting, go through the necessary channels and stop it from happening.  Google’s My Account dashboard will give you a bird’s eye view into your account — that is something that 99% of other companies that collect data will not do.  This page will allow you to tailor the experience that you get and change the types of ads that you see.
Most importantly, just remember that these options are there rather than complaining that a company is stealing your data.  First, look into the company and their privacy policy, it may just surprise you.  All of these companies are not evil and out to get you; yet, they are trying to make money just like you.  There are services in this world that can truly make your life easier and if you are afraid of typing something into a search box — then you deserve to miss out.
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