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To be clear, Google doesn't sell user data to anyone. In fact, it's got the strongest of incentives to keep other companies or hackers away from the data of their users. Which is maybe why Google's security team is what it is.



Technically, most companies in the advertising space don't sell user data. They sell the ability to target users based on anonymized and pre-digested data. Google Search Ads and AdWords both work that way, as does pretty much all of Facebook's ads products.

As an example, Facebook might sell you the ability to target people between ages 12 and 20 located in major metropolitan centers in the US. You never bought any user data that let you flag individual users, but you are still "using" the data.

(Disclaimer and also claim to authority: I worked in ad tech.)


The end result is the same if Google sold your data to an advertiser or used the data to advertise on the same advertiser's behalf. So I find "Google sells your data to 3rd parties" to be an accurate enough description.


If you think the end result is the same, you are being very charitative in your guess of what those companies could do with your data. Without giving it much thought, for a start you would lose the ability to control what that data is and who has it.


> would lose the ability to control what that data is and who has it.

It's the same with Google, you cannot control your data and what they do with it.


Have you visited the privacy checkup page lately? https://myaccount.google.com/privacycheckup

I'm not sure why people keep saying that Google and Facebook is selling user data. Does that mean that if those companies started to actually do it, it wouldn't bother the claimants as they consider it being done already? Seems to me like an important distinction to make.

In comparison, are Uber selling software? Rather than using software to sell a service?


> what that data is

Can I find out what data Google has on me?


I know that you can restrict it from https://myaccount.google.com.


I don't see a button that would prevent doubleclick/ganalytics from tracking me all over the place.


The relationship between that and "it's the same as if Google sold my data to third parties" is lost on me, honestly. Looks like you're trying to prove a sentiment instead of a point.


Obviously there is a technical difference between "Google sold my data" and what they actually do. My point is that the outcome is the same in both cases. It doen't matter to me which specific entity erodes my privacy. So in the larger scheme of things, Google did sell my data to advertisers.

Amazon doesn't directly sell you the AWS infrastructure. But they rent it to you. Google is doing something akin to that. If they had an opt out saying "Don't use my private data to show me ads" I'd no longer make the point they sell my data. But they don't provide any opt-out, and the effect is identical to my data being sold to advertisers.


When I pay Amazon to use AWS I get access to those machines. When I pay Google to display ads, I don't get access to the data of any user.

If a company sold your information, you can say bye bye to being able to restrict what that information is and who has it; you might as well consider it public from that point on. I don't think anybody in their right mind would call that difference a technicality.

Google does provide the opt out you say they don't, too: Browsing in incognito mode.




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