know when Google collects data

As we know, Google collects personal data each time its software and services are used. The free GoogleTeller app makes it possible to take action, by sounding the alert each time the giant retrieves information.

Almost every day, you – without necessarily realizing it – use a service from Google. A query in the search engine, a video watched on YouTube, a letter sent with Gmail, a route defined in Maps… And that’s not counting the daily use of your smartphone, if it runs on Android. Everything you do with a Google service or application is carefully logged by the American giant. But do you know how often the Mountain View company collects your data, if only for web browsing? The GoogleTeller app provides a concrete overview.

GoogleTeller: the app that gives the alert when Google recovers data

Most of the time, Google collects your personal information in order to diagnose bugs, improve its services or to be able to better target advertising content. However, the Internet giant does not have full control of this data, which can be intercepted and disclosed by malicious outsiders in the event of a security breach – a risk we take with any company that collects data from its users.

So that users can realize, in a concrete way, to what extent Google siphons off our data, Bert Hubert has developed a free application which he has called GoogleTeller. Working in the background monitoring internet traffic, this “spy spy” makes a sound – a “beep” – as soon as the internet giant collects your information. Its creator gave an illustration in a video on Twitter, where he goes to the official website of the Dutch government – ​​a country which nevertheless has stricter data tracking laws than in the United States – via Google Chrome. And the result is rather worrying. Every time he does something in the browser – write or click – the sound goes off! The same test was performed with Firefoxand the result is similar. GoogerTeller works using the list of IP addresses that are associated with Google services but not those related to Google Cloud. Each time your computer connects to one of these IP addresses when using a program or browsing the webthe alert sounds.

That’s why it’s important to remember that there are browsers and browser extensions – like Privacy Badger – with privacy controls – as well as user controls in your Google Account that limit what you share with Google and remove even automatically the data it stores about you (see our practical sheet).

For now, GoogleTeller is only available for Linux. but it seems that an extension is also available. And we can hope that Bert Hubert – or another developer – brings this very useful application to Windows, macOS, iOS and Android…

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