Inactive Account Manager:
This allows a user to trigger a plan, when the user has been inactive on Google for a pre-defined period of time, for example, in the event of an accident or death. However, before activating the plan, Google contacts the owner multiple times by SMS on the linked phone number and by email address.
Plan: When the account becomes inactive, Google can:
However, the shared data must be downloaded within a period of 3 months, otherwise the account gets deleted automatically.
When we send an email, at times we want to know whether the message has been read by the intended recipient. This is particularly needed when the law enforcement authorities need to prove in the Court of law that a particular email was read by the intended user. Google mail i.e, Google allows such a feature through services like “getnotify”.
The tracking of email messages is done with the help of web beacon. A Web beacon is an often-transparent graphic image, usually no larger than 1 pixel x 1 pixel. It is placed in the sent email and often used in combination with cookies.
The web beacons besides tracking the opening of email messages, can also track other relevant information of the user including:
This service is completely free and does not necessarily require Gmail as the email provider. However, free account is limited to only five email messages per day.
What Is The Procedure For Tracking?
The process requires the following details:
Real Life Application:
While logged to any of the Google services like Gmail, tap on the Google apps icon i.e, 9 dots icon in the upper right corner. Then, from the pop-up window, select the YouTube app. Alternatively, if you are signed-in to any of the Google service like Gmail you can directly open the YouTube app at https://www.youtube.com
Videos occupy two of our five senses, thus need lesser time to explain a point. Thus, a useful, but a lesser used feature is “YouTube channel”. It can be used for variety of purposes like showcasing skills, earning money or fame etc.
Steps to Create a YouTube Channel:
Why Should you Create a YouTube Channel?
You may log into Google Drive using the method discussed earlier or by using the link https://drive.google.com
Google Drive is a free data storage service by Google. It offers 15 Gigabytes of free storage space to store files, documents, pictures and so on. It uses cloud computing technology, which means the data is stored on one of the Google’s servers, so that a user can access the data from anywhere and anytime.
Benefits of Using Google Drive:
How To Share Files/ Data?
To open the Google Photos directly, navigate to https://photos.google.com and start using Google Photos!
Google Photos gives users free, unlimited storage for photos up to 16 Megapixels and videos up to 1080p resolution. It bridges the gap between cloud storage, image hosting and image sharing services, giving stiff competition to Flickr, iCloud, Dropbox and OneDrive.
Salient Features of Google Photos App:
How To Share Photos And Videos With Anyone?
With Google Photos, you can easily share an image, album and movie with anyone. Open the app and select the photos you want to share. Then tap on the “Share” icon in the upper right corner. Now, you can share:
How To Collaborate?
Like other Google apps, Google Photos also allows collaboration.
"It's like the Wild West, the Internet. There are no rules".
- Steven Wright, American thinker
In the previous chapter, we read about some of the most amazing features of the Google products. But have you ever wondered, how Google provides all these amazing services and features for free? How Google is one of the largest companies in the world, without charging its users? Here comes the other side of Google, the creepy side. For Google, we are not a customer, rather we are the products!
In this chapter, we shall understand how Google intrudes our privacy and to what extent.
Why Google Tracks Us?
Google’s business model is an advertisement based business model. Therefore, Google tracks its users to know their likes, dislikes and preferences. Google also tracks its users because:
In fact, during the Google account creation we consent to its “Terms and Conditions”, which legally allows tracking.
The Myth of “Nothing To Hide”:
Some people argue that they have “nothing to hide,” and hence they are not concerned with Google tracking. We feel the argument is flawed because:
Firstly, everyone has some information they want to keep private, e,g, sexual orientation. Secondly, very few of us would actually consent to secret profiling. Thirdly, privacy is essential for everyday situations like medical care, financial transactions etc.
What is the Intensity of Google Tracking?
Google is like our relatives i.e., “it knows more about us, than we know about ourselves”. The only difference between Google and relatives is that we gladly give our most private information to Google unlike relatives.
Google tracks us as much as possible – it records whether we saw its ads, if yes then from where, whether we clicked on them etc. Even when not signed in, 75% of the top million websites have Google trackers – “They have become a tracking company!”
The most common Google products and services that track us are:
Before moving on to show some real life examples of tracking, consider the following hypothetical chat with Google which sums up the present situation very well:
Era of Big Data:
Customer:“Hello! Is this Gordon's Pizza?
Web and app activity, includes the search history and the app activity. They are turned on by default on iPhone and Android devices. One can view this information by using the "My Activity" tool.
Thus, Google knows our past searches and apps used. Even with the Chrome incognito mode, these searches are stored in our Google account.
Sign-in to any of the Google product like Gmail. Then, tap on the “Google app” icon (9 dots icon) and then click on the “Google Maps”. Tap on the three horizontal lines in the upper left-corner, and then click on “Your Timeline”. It opens a page as shown below:
Enter the values of “Year”, “Month” and “Day”.
This shows our location for that particular day!
Thus, anyone with our login credentials can access a precise record of our movements. For example, a user data at 3:04 p.m, on June 14 of last year, showed this record:
1. Latitude 43.7286879,
2. Longitude -793484368 and
3. Altitude 106 m (above sea level).
Google CEO Sundar Pichai admitted that Chrome sends the location data to its servers about 340 times an hour.
When you tap on the microphone icon in the search bar or hold the “Home button” to open the Google Assistant, it prompts for a voice command. Google subsequently records all the voice commands. If you use Google Home, then Google stores a live recording of every command ever said to the device!