Google is amazing. It is difficult to imagine life without it. But that’s the root of the problem. You cannot get far online without using Google services, either deliberately or accidentally. The result is that the degree of agency you have over your privacy is at the discretion of one of the most influential and powerful companies in the world.
So, what has Google done to assuage fears that it’s monopolizing people’s privacy? In fact, it has presented a wide array of privacy initiatives. Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative is one example, but it does still permit advertisers to track and measure, and it does not stop Google itself from accessing and holding all the same data it always has. Similarly, Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode won’t store any history, cookies, or anything else on your computer. But again, Incognito Mode has been accused of being privacy-invasive due to your activity not being hidden from Google itself.
Despite these efforts, the fact remains that Google’s primary revenue source is advertising, tailored and customized to each of their millions of customers. Without targeted advertising, Google would not make as much money, but also many websites would have to put up paywalls, and the volume of content that we could access freely may well be significantly reduced. Furthermore, tailored advertising can be a good thing. Who hasn’t been drawn in by a product they like advertised on the sidebar of their Gmail account?
The way we see it, for everyday situations this is OK. Google provides us free services and adverts that we may or may not find useful, and we let them track us. The issue comes when we want some privacy. Then we need to use a different service. This is why we created StayPrivate, private email made easy.