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Data versus trends

by Russell Crowe

Google announced a new tool a few days ago at its Google I/O event which will automatically delete your Location, Web, and App Activity history data after a set period of time per your chosen settings. The feature gives you the ability to delete the data after either three or 18 months.

Google introduced this feature to remedy the effects of its questionable location tracking practices that emerged last year, that Google continued tracking your location even when you turn off the location history settings.

Its been a welcomed feature all over the internet as a start for a more private internet to come.


The future is private” says Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook at its F5 developer keynote event. Mark said Facebook was starting to work on a new vision for the social media giant which will be privacy-focused. Apple is also thriving on that premise, so are many other companies and startups that are privacy-focused. It seems to be a core priority amongst internet and device users today.

My take on the issue is not so forgiving. These companies are founded on structures and systems that are massively data-driven. It’s their business model. Its the essential way they make money.

Facebook is a social media company, Google is search. That is what the front end presentation or personality, but these companies are in fact advertisement agencies first. they generate revenue on ads more than any other product they have. That is the main reason they are able to offer their services for free.

For an ad campaign to work cost-effectively, it has to be finely targeted. The ads have to be shown to the people who are most likely to click through. That saves resources and the ability to run multiple ads at once targeting different groups of users.

So creating groups and trends of users interest is the backbone of the success of these services.

Also Read: Google’s AI Mission

Now Google giving you a feature to delete your user data seems counterproductive for Google doesn’t it.

Data is only really used for developing trends which are easy to understand graphical representation(in some cases) of the data. After the trends have been developed the data itself becomes a deadweight. Google will only allow the history delete after three or eighteen months. That’s after their algorithms have analyzed the sh*t out of it until its no longer needed, so you can go ahead to delete that!. Your data has already contributed to the analysis of the latest trends in behavior and interest.

The only fair bit of this issue is that on a global scale, trends make for more anonymousity for the data points. So if you do get targeted ads, its because you fall in a category and the targeting is for that category not you in person.

So if you feel strongly against letting big tech use your data, take the necessary measures to block the data collection. that will mean fine-combing through your data and privacy and security settings.

 

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