This free app alerts you whenever Google collects your browsing data

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How often would you guess Google collects your browsing The data? OWe all know that the tech giant siphons off information every time we use its search function, log into its apps, or area on YouTube, but you might be surprised to learn (or not, given the company’s reputation) that nearly every click and keystroke is sent to Google (at least on some websites). And this data sharing is even more aggressive if you use Google applications or browse Chromium.

If that sounds like too much of a stretch, even for Google, you can check for yourself using a new free app called GoogleTeller, from developer Bert Hubert.

GoogleTeller makes a short “blip” sound each time your data is sent to one of Google’s public IP addresses. The the app only works on Linux desktops for now, but Hubert has posted a demo video of the software so you can see the results for yourself.

Those little beeps you hear are not Hubert’s keyboard or mouse; it is GoogleTeller that logs each connection to Google’s servers. The near constant beeping on an unassuming Dutch government site – a country with a stricter data tracking laws that the U.S– shows just how aggressive the company’s tracking really is. Iimagine what it looks like if you’re using Google search on Chrome, or worse, a Pixel phone or a Chromebook.

Although GoogleTeller’s current Linux exclusivity means that Windows and Mac users can’t verify Google tracking directly, the main takeaway is still useful: Google collects a plot of your Data. A plot. You don’t necessarily need an app to tell you this, but even still, you can find the results depressing illuminating.

Does this mean your privacy is at risk? Google mainly uses this data to diagnose bugs, improve its services and, most likely, earn money from its advertising partners. Advertising practices are skeevy, and such aggressive tracking is invasive, but the real problem comes from outside threats that can intercept and leak user data if not properly secured – a risk posed by any company that collects user data.

The good news is that you can most escape Google trackers. There are browsers and browser extensions with strong privacy controls that block both Google and allanother of sniff your browsing data. There are also user controls in your Google account that limit what you share with Google, and even self-delete data it stores on you. Obviously, the only infallible way to avoid Google trackers is to delete your Google account and stop using the company some products entirely.


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