The first entry in the Privacy Cookbook was about removing Google from your world! About how to replace Google services and how to enjoy life without being watched, well at least not by Google.
De-Google your life!
If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place
- Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO
Yeah, sure...but remember when Google started they had the famous “Don’t be evil” slogan? So how come they even bother with my data?
Let’s get this straight...again...you can replace a hell of a lot of Google products and most of the time with an even better product.
And yes! I hear you! It's about the confident that knowing all the Google products place nicely together and that everyone else uses them too.( And hell, your cellphone also runs on Android!).
But let me remind you that these services are not free! Google makes you believe they are, but you pay with your data!
Newsflash!!! even if you don’t have or use Google, it can and will still track you!
Back in the 90s, when Google started out at Standford University it was called Backrub! Which is a kinda fitting better name than 'Google'. Just think of it as some creepy old guy watching everything you are doing, all day long whilst giving you non-consensual backrubs! I think you get the picture...
So fast-forward and they've 'improved' and now the creepy old guy is doing so much more than just back-rubbing! (We have kids reading DT so I just leave that thought out there for you to complete!).
So if you are not into creepy backrubs, what can you do?
Well, we've already spelt out how to replace Google Apps and if you are looking for a Google free cellphone experience, you can always use GrapheneOS
But these alone will not entirely fix your problem, in fact, Google will always find ways to track you. Google trackers are in approximately 85% of most of the websites that you visit daily, in all probability. So look to start blocking them with a hostfile, or an ad blocker or even with Pi-hole.
Consider also that Google ANALytics are not the only way they track you, think Google Fonts, Google Adsense and reCAPTURE (yes! the little shit that forces you to prove you're not a bot!) Each of these services and many others are all part of the Alphabet Empire are out there tracking you.
Google is like an elephant, it never forgets! And as it improves, so the value of your data increases...you are worth more to them tomorrow than today!
Alphabet/Google buy companies that gives them even greater insight and even more control. Some examples would be Android, which they got for the bargain basement price of $50 Million! Nest, the auto-thermostat-adjusting, video-taking, smoke-detecting and spying company which cost $3.2 Billion! Fitbit, which tracks your heart rate, daily workouts and steps was 'just' $2.1 Billion and then let's not forget YouTube which cost Google $1.65 Billion.
On TOP of that’s Google tracks your Phone signal, WiFI, GPS and Bluetooth location, and thanks to COVID they also have a pretty great tracker what “protects” you from well others!
Don’t forget you might be using Google Maps, which can be useful, sure, but can also be so easily replaced with OpenStreetMap or OSMAnd Maps or Metager Maps, just to name a few
Google even struck a deal with MasterCard! So that's all your guilty little purchasing secrets out in the open!
But even if you can't ditch Google entirely, as sooner or later some website, service or even a friend's cellphone nearby picks up some meta data on you, you should make it harder by deleting your Google account!
First things first, if you have a Google account download your data!
Get your replacements ready and perhaps get your data to one of those services. Notify everyone in your contact list that you left Google and that you have a new email address, perhaps forward for 30 days from your gmail to your new provider, but then go to Google's account deletion page.
That all said, it will come asno surprise that you have now 'deleted' your Google page, services etc, there is no reason to believe that Google will not still have some of your data stored somewhere on one of their servers about you, because remember - tomorrows data is worth more then yesterdays!
Avoid Google as much as you can, block ANALytics, Google Fonts, Adsense, AMP and everything else you can block which comes from Google headquarters.
Enjoy your privacy, and you'le have so much more once you ditch Google.
Stay safe, stay secure,
The Privacy Advocate