Big tech companies tracking user data points aren't new, and many a time, the user data is collected without their knowledge or consent. Amid this, it has been found that search engine giant Google collects the most data points on its users among the top five global tech companies, a study published recently shows.
Out of the five major digital firms -- Google, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, and Meta (earlier Facebook) -- Google harvests the most data on its users i.e. 39 private data points for each user, according to an analysis by StockApps.com.
Valued at around $1.8 trillion, Google and other major tech giants like Meta, Twitter, and others have been been in the dock over privacy concerns from various consumer and civil society groups. This has put huge pressure on the big techs to address privacy concerns, however, a lot needs to be done yet. In 2020, Google announced that it would not allow advertisers access to third-party cookies, which are used to track search history on Chrome and target ads.
Google, given that its entire business model relies on data, focuses on search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, computer software, quantum computing, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, and other services.
Twitter, with 24 data points, and Facebook, with 14 data points, both save more information than they need to, says the report, adding that with Facebook, most of the data they store is information users enter.
Apple, which collects 12 data points, is in a league above Amazon in protecting user privacy. "It is the most privacy-conscious firm out there," as per the report. Apple only stores the information that is necessary to maintain users’ accounts. The prime reason behind that is that Apple's website is not as reliant on advertising revenue as Google, Twitter, and Facebook.
Google relies on data points for targeted advertising, rather than relying on third-party trackers. It collects data points such as users’ specific location, and their browser history, among other things. It also stores a significant amount of data on several domains, and stores user activity on third-party websites or apps and the emails on users’ Gmail accounts.