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Digital-Chupacabra t1_jd2mpbq wrote

The cost of them is your data, which Google then uses to better target ads.

Everyone of those services reports vast amounts of data back to Google, nor necessarily the actual content but all the other Metadata.

Remember Metadata is good enough for the militaries to use to make kill decisions.

edit To expand on this a bit, some of those tools were expressly created to get people to use them so that they could then sell them to companies, google suite is the prime example of that. This doesn't mean they don't suck up as much data as they can.

Remember if it's an online service and it's free the product is you!


Mission-Simple-5040 t1_jd2pzqk wrote

What's metadata?


allecher137 t1_jd2spmy wrote

Metadata is the data about the data. For example they might not read the numbers in your spreadsheet, but they know your IP, browser info, and times you are active online.


Burstar1 t1_jd2u7uy wrote

All the information it is possible to glean or infer from a file outside its actual contents. Things like:

File type, size, time and frequency of use (importance), the IP address/location of the user and anyone it has been shared with, the language it uses, etc...

Without even a database of all your data, it is possible to look at a large spreadsheet file and make an educated guess whether or not it is an important file whose user is educated, Western (based on language preference) and likely middle-aged (Excel vs. Google Spreadsheet), who is using it for budgeting or database purposes (based on size and frequency of use).


Vingdent t1_jd2tzuc wrote

the google analytics algorithms build a library of metadata on your content that tells them things like your income level, what your drive, places you visit, businesses you frequent, subscriptions and memberships you have, ailments you might suffer from, credit level, family size. basically anything it can glean from what you give it.

The data is stored in an “anonymized” state without your actual name or other personally identifiable info, but that’s a bit moot because they can usually identify you but your metadata fingerprint anyway and link it to you at will.


MoogTheDuck t1_jd315dh wrote

What you're describing isn't really metadata, it's the outcomes/process by which google anaylzes data/metadata.


Digital-Chupacabra t1_jd2srea wrote

Data about data. A simple example is with a photo, when it was taken, where it was taken, by what camera etc.


BrunoBraunbart t1_jd2tmou wrote

Data about data. For example, when you make a survey, the actual answers are the data and the information about the person (gender, age, ...) could be considered metadata.

In this case they mean metadata in files. For example, when you take a picture, the actual pixel information is the data and other stuff (location, time the picture was taken, phone model, exposure time, ...) is the metadata.


JCDU t1_jd32qc1 wrote

Data about what you do, who you communicate with, when & where you are, what devices you use, the sites you visit, it's a huge and terrifying list.

Also, since it's doing the rounds today:

How about identifying you even in incognito mode?


BurtMacklin-FBl t1_jd36n6y wrote

It's only "terrifying" if you don't know what it actually is.


JCDU t1_jd3clfj wrote

If you don't think the level of tracking & data collection online is terrifying you haven't understood the scale of the problem.


gatorbeetle t1_jd3bvvg wrote

EXACTLY THIS!!! With Google YOU are the product. They farm every little bit of your data they can get, and sell it, or use it to make more money. Google is an information/data company that got into the software and eventually hardware business


Gnonthgol t1_jd2pnmd wrote

Just a note about them using the data. They might not use the data directly as you say. However it is quite likely that they use the data in some indirect way. In the modern way it would be fed to some sort of AI algorithm, and although this AI might not be allowed to disclose the data directly it can still answer questions based on this data. Maybe not so much to non-paying customers but Google does provide a lot of expensive technologies to companies which might be more liberal with other customers data then you expect.


Electrical_Money1132 t1_jd2mrui wrote

Google may not be after your actual content, but they'll gladly sell your Metadata to the highest bidder...hopefully it's not your mother-in-law.


munchi333 t1_jd2vc4o wrote

They don’t actually sell your data to anyone: they sell access to you as a persona to advertise to.

Selling your data would defeat the entire purpose.


sloppyredditor t1_jd2tm2y wrote

This is the correct answer. Their business model is massive data aggregation and sale to marketers. If you’re paying attention, you’ll see some of it in marginal ads (especially in Chrome).