Big, Scary Google and Facebook

This article by Dylan Curran of The Guardian is making the circles in social media today with the “scary” realization that Google and Facebook track a ton of data about you. Of course the funny thing about it is that for all of that scary data to be collected you need to be logged in with a Google or Facebook account which the author apparently figures isn’t necessary to mention. He shows us how Google tracks our location and where to see the information (is it really that scary if the company actually gives a page to let us see the nefarious information it’s gathering?). But wow, we’re able to delete the information and turn off location tracking from the same page. Scary. Search history? Same deal. Can turn it off. OK now I’m really scared. If you don’t want Google tracking this stuff go to your My Account page and delete it. Then turn it off. After that log out of your Google account. No more tracking. But I’m going to bet you’re not going to want to do that. Why? Because as useful as that information is to Google it’s also extremely useful to you as well. And at the very least by looking at all of these pages on Google about your activity you’ll be aware of what is going on and able to make an informed decision about just what information you want Google to have.