Companies That Know You

Who knows more information about you – Google or your Wireless Phone Company?

Google knows your search history, but doesn’t know your address or name.  Google knows what ads you clicked on and what search results you clicked on.  Google may know what city you are in if it can geo-locate based on your IP address, but it might be wrong too (if you are using a proxy).  Google might have your email if you use GMail.  But Google doesn’t know your name, email, or anything personal if you don’t login to any Google services.  Google purges all records in less than one year.

Cell Phone Carrier
Your cell phone carrier knows where you are all the time within 5-10 miles.  Your phone company knows who you talked to, and when, and for how long.  They know who you texted.  They have the content of your voicemail.  If you use a data plan on your phone, your phone company knows what websites you visit, what web searches you did, and what links you clicked.  And unlike Google’s information, which is all anonymous (unless you logged in), the phone company can tie it all back to your name, address, and phone number…  And these records are never purged.  In 2025, the phone company will still know where you were at 3pm on Saturday, July 11, 2009.

NOTE: These opinions do not reflect those of my employer.

2 thoughts on “Companies That Know You

  • July 13, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Don’t forget your ISP at home. They see (or can see) most of the data that flows to the other sites you visit. And they can tie it back to a household.

  • July 17, 2009 at 2:00 am

    I guess so, but with Google Voice, Google has ALL my phone numbers, and could probably use that to determine almost everything else.


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