Do Search Engines Respect Your Privacy?
You may consider yourself just an ordinary Internet user and nobody is interested in your online activities. However, you are totally wrong because all your online activities are already collected from the search engines.
Why are you being tracked?
The simple answer is: money. Nowadays, almost all the information including phone numbers and addresses is for sale and there are hundreds of companies specializing in this specific area. Maybe you may think that separate parts of data are meaningless. However, once every tiny piece of info is gathered, assembled and deciphered together, it can be successfully utilized to target potential customers by marketers. In fact, the more they know, more successful they can target you. Apparently, your information could be used not only to sell you merchandise, but also to be sold to anyone.
These days search engines like Google, Baidu, Bing and Yahoo play an important role in our daily lives. They can necessarily be different roles like libraries, friends, mentors, professors, and everything you might need to find answers. Undoubtedly, Google leads the pack with 75.49% of the search engine market share, Baidu number two at 10.47%, Bing with 8.24% and finally Yahoo at 3.33%.
From this point, have you ever thought about how much we use the search engine in our daily lives? Actually, every time we have doubts for something or have an idea which needs to be confirmed, we go to search engines first. So, they know our life stories, our secrets, our preferences and everything! And simply imagine what if they gather together all the information about every single search we have made? That definitely would be a lot of power for any company to use for their benefits.
Which search engines actually collect your data?
Basically, all the large search engines are busy collecting as much data about you as they will. That’s right! You have been tracked by either Google, Yahoo, Baidu or Bing. Here are the examples of what data they collect from you:
- searches (images, websites, etc.)
- all the comments on the blogs or any communications
- search results that you click on
- web crawling
- site analytics
- and a lot more!
Using all the mentioned information above, these search engines surprisingly are able to create accurate profiles about you and then sell to the advertisers or use in their other services.
Google appears to be the worst offender, they are not only tracking your browser and search history but also other bigger! In 2013, Google admitted to utilizing the Street View cars to get pictures of the road, and even to steal usernames, passwords and other sensitive information from people’s homes.
Famous search engines are in some ways collaborating in unethical practices. As common saying “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”, it means we don’t get something for nothing, we are trading our privacy for free things such as internet browsers, mobile operating systems, email services, search engines, social media, and all the online functions you can think about.