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This free app alerts you when Google is collecting your data

We know that every keystroke and browse is being watched by Google, but this free app tells you exactly when.

Pole with Big Data is Watching You sticker representing Google

How safe is your business and personal data from Google’s ever-watchful eye? Through Google, especially Chrome, every click and letter typed is recorded in mass. It is no surprise given Google’s recent history of aggressive data sharing and consistent updates to their privacy policy.

Lifehacker reports there is now a way to actually see and hear how often Google pulls data from your internet browsing.

Is this finally a way for us to know not only how often our data is collected but our business’s data as well?

Developer Burt Hubert created GoogleTeller which is currently exclusive to Linux devices. GoogleTeller is a free-to-use app that makes a sound every time your data is shared with Google public IP addresses. Hubert posted a video on Twitter demonstrating how the app works along with the consistent sound of his data being collected with every click. The sounds even start with just typing in the domain. It appears every keystroke we make is subject to collection.

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The data in any amount collected is not inherently being used for malicious purposes by Google. Google states in their privacy policy that,

“..the information shared by sites and apps to deliver our services, maintain and improve them, develop new services, measure the effectiveness of advertising, protect against fraud and abuse..”

While Google claims they have several factors in place to protect the mass amounts of data collected, cyber attacks are still a threat.

Data protection is not limited to Google though. There are other ways to take matters into your own hands and protect your data as well as your business’s data. Along with using Hubert’s app (if you are Linux based), there are other browsers with less invasive tracking habits and browser extensions that limit how much Google collects during your time using their services.

To ensure that users feel truly comfortable using Google’s services, the company should limit the information it collects, or at the very least be more transparent about how it stores and transports collected information. Once Google sees how exposed their data-sharing habits are, maybe they will back off a bit and give us all room to breathe, with the ability to search and scour without Big Brother watching.

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A native New Englander who migrated to Austin on a whim, Stephanie Dominique is a freelance copywriter, novelist, and certificate enthusiast. When she's not getting howled at by two dachshunds or inhaling enough sugar to put a giant into shock, she is reading, cooking or writing about her passions.

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