Friday, February 1, 2019 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Blocking the Big 5: Google

Kashmir Hill (Hacker News, via Dare Obasanjo):

I’m saying goodbye to all that this week. As part of an experiment to live without the tech giants, I’m cutting Google from my life both by abandoning its products and by preventing myself, technologically, from interacting with the company in any way. Engineer Dhruv Mehrotra built a virtual private network, or VPN, for me that prevents my phone, computers, and smart devices from communicating with the 8,699,648 IP addresses controlled by Google. This will cause some huge headaches for me: The company has created countless genuinely useful products, some that we use intentionally and some invisibly. The trade-off? Google tracks us everywhere.

[…]

This experiment is not just about boycotting Google products. I’m also preventing my devices from interacting with Google in invisible or background ways, and that makes for some big challenges.

Update (2019-02-04): Bogdan Popa:

I spent this past weekend de-Google-ifying my life and, despite my expectations, it wasn’t too hard to do.

[…]

Why go through all this trouble? I’ve grown increasingly concerned this past year with how much access Google has to our lives. They are the world’s biggest advertising company and they have access to most of our web browsing via Google Chrome (62.5% market share – although given the amount of broken websites (some explicitly Chrome-only!) I’ve found since switching to Firefox, I believe this number may actually be higher), all our website visitors via Google Analytics and Google Fonts. Much of our communication via GMail and Google Apps and much of the content we consume every day via YouTube. I’m not even going to get into all the information they gather from people who use Android phones.

Comments

Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this post.

Leave a Comment