What Does Big Tech Know About You? Basically Everything
By Angela Moscaritolo, contributing PCMag reporter – Feb. 5, 2019, 6 p.m.
Security Baron examined the privacy policies of Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, Amazon, and Microsoft and put together a handy infographic showing the types of data each company admits to collecting.
The seemingly endless stream of Facebook privacy scandals of late—including the latest involving users as young as 13 years old—may have you questioning how much the social network and other tech giants actually know about you.
Here’s a hint: practically everything.
The folks at Security Baron examined the privacy policies of Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, Amazon, and Microsoft and put together a handy infographic showing the types of data each company admits to collecting. For Facebook and others, data is money. But just how much these tech giants actually know about you might be surprising.
As you can see in the infographic below, Facebook is particularly data-hungry, even gathering information about your work, income level, race, religion, political views, and the ads you click in addition to more commonly collected data points such as your phone number, email address, location, and the type of devices you use.
“Facebook is unusually aggressive,” Security Baron pointed out. “This data can be exploited by advertisers and (hopefully not nefarious) others.”
Twitter, in comparison, is “comparatively hands-off,” the site notes. The microblogging service, for instance, doesn’t collect your name, gender, or birthday (Facebook, Google, and Microsoft all do), but Twitter does know your phone number, email address, time zone, what videos you watch, and more.
Google and Microsoft, meanwhile, are the other big players when it comes to collecting data.
“With Cortana listening in and Gmail seeing all of your emails, the ubiquitous nature of Google and Microsoft gives them access to an uncomfortably large amount of your information,” Security Baron wrote.
Check out the full infographic below to see what Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, Amazon, and Microsoft may know about you. For tips on securing your digital privacy, check our story, “Online Data Protection 101: Don’t Let Big Tech Get Rich Off Your Info.
Angela Moscaritolo – Reporter
Angela has been a PCMag reporter since January 2012. Prior to joining the team, she worked as a reporter for SC Magazine, covering everything related to hackers and computer security. Angela has also written for The Northern Valley Suburbanite in New Jersey, The Dominion Post in West Virginia, and the Uniontown-Herald Standard in Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of West Virginia University’s Perely Isaac Reed School of Journalism.