When Google first showed up, a start-up search engine built in a garage during student spare time, it had a motto… “Don’t be evil“, this was watered down to “do the right thing” when Alphabet became Google’s parent company, and what it is now is a good question!
Google along with Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and many other corporations live of collecting your personal data for their financial benefit. Now this may not be “evil” it does put a question on how your personal information and thus your personal life/habits/activities are being used to their advantage and maybe to your disadvantage (or maybe not!)
Well, Google may not be the one to worry about, but there are other companies out there that collect your information. They’re called data brokers, and they have names like Spokeo, Whitepages.com, PeopleFinder, as well as plenty of others.
So, however you are inclined, I wanted to list some links and websites that you can check to see and/or remove some of your data.
A good place to start is this website https://myshadow.org/ https://www.deseat.me/
Google has several links to help you: myactivity.google.com takeout.google.com
if there is some information about you in search results by google, you can also ask them to remove it through legal channels https://support.google.com/legal/troubleshooter/1114905
to remove outdated information from google, try https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals
Amazon has your content data at in their activity centre https://www.amazon.com/mycd
Microsoft has its privacy portal here https://account.microsoft.com/privacy and Apple here https://privacy.apple.com/
Look at this page for facebook https://www.facebook.com/help/1701730696756992 and this one for twitter https://help.twitter.com/en/managing-your-account/accessing-your-twitter-data
Whatsapp will create a report for you, if you.. open the WhatsApp app on your device and go to Settings. It is available in the three-dotted menu button at the top right corner. Once there, go to Account. Here, you will get a Request account info option. Now, tap on the Request report button. Once clicked, the screen should update to Request sent.
If you think your personal account has been compromised, check out https://haveibeenpwned.com/ which checks all the data breaches that have happened.
Note, if you want to remove yourself from any blogs or forums, you will need to talk to the administrator of that site. These mention about you are normally harder to find and work on, only generic web searches here will help you.
Ever wondered how many social media sites there are?
If you wish to pay an entity to do the work for you, have a look at https://joindeleteme.com/
I hope this was helpful, it is not complete, as there are many websites out there that collect data, but it gives an insight, so that you are aware!
This article was written by Tim Gorter, teletechnics.com. Tim specialises in troubleshooting support and analytic maintenance. He also provides full shoreside support to vessels running without an AV/IT ETO on board, providing full remote active monitoring or just simple advice.
By Tim Gorter, AV/IT communication consultant, remote AV/IT ETO support.