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International

Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you

17:40, Thursday, 29 March, 2018
Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you

Want to freak yourself out? I’m going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it.

Google knows where you’ve been
     Google stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where you’ve been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone.

Here is every place I have been in the last 12 months in Ireland. You can see the time of day that I was in the location and how long it took me to get to that location from my previous one.

Google knows everything you’ve ever searched – and deleted
     Google stores search history across all your devices. That can mean that, even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices.

Google knows all the apps you use
     Google stores information on every app and extension you use. They know how often you use them, where you use them, and who you use them to interact with. That means they know who you talk to on Facebook, what countries are you speaking with, what time you go to sleep.

Google has all of your YouTube history
     Google stores all of your YouTube history, so they probably know whether you’re going to be a parent soon, if you’re a conservative, if you’re a progressive, if you’re Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if you’re feeling depressed or suicidal, if you’re anorexic …

The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents
     Google offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. I’ve requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big, which is roughly 3m Word documents.

Facebook has reams and reams of data on you, too
     Facebook offers a similar option to download all your information. Mine was roughly 600MB, which is roughly 400,000 Word documents.

This includes every message you’ve ever sent or been sent, every file you’ve ever sent or been sent, all the contacts in your phone, and all the audio messages you’ve ever sent or been sent.

Facebook stores everything from your stickers to your login location

Somewhat pointlessly, they also store all the stickers you’ve ever sent on Facebook (I have no idea why they do this. It’s just a joke at this stage).

They also store every time you log in to Facebook, where you logged in from, what time, and from what device.

And they store all the applications you’ve ever had connected to your Facebook account, so they can guess I’m interested in politics and web and graphic design, that I was single between X and Y period with the installation of Tinder, and I got a HTC phone in November.

(Side note, if you have Windows 10 installed, this is a picture of just the privacy options with 16 different sub-menus, which have all of the options enabled by default when you install Windows 10).

They can access your webcam and microphone
     The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to.

Here are some of the different ways Google gets your data
     I got the Google Takeout document with all my information, and this is a breakdown of all the different ways they get your information.

Here’s the search history document, which has 90,000 different entries, even showing the images I downloaded and the websites I accessed (I showed the Pirate Bay section to show how much damage this information can do).

Google knows which events you attended, and when
     Here’s my Google Calendar broken down, showing all the events I’ve ever added, whether I actually attended them, and what time I attended them at (this part is when I went for an interview for a marketing job, and what time I arrived).

And Google has information you deleted.

This is my Google Drive, which includes files I explicitly deleted including my résumé, my monthly budget, and all the code, files and websites I’ve ever made, and even my PGP private key, which I deleted, that I use to encrypt emails.

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