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Opinion
Parmy Olson

Google Is Sharing Our Data at a Startling Scale

It transmits our locations and browsing habits 70 billion times a day to advertisers amid trillions a year by other firms, a new report shows.

Cyber Security Concerns In The Global Wake of Hacking Threat
Photographer: Leon Neal/Getty Images Europe

Along with the Pixel phones, watches and earbuds at Google’s annual showcase of software and devices last week came a pair of nifty-looking translation glasses. Put them on and real-time “subtitles” appear on the lenses as you watch a person speaking in a different language. Very cool. But the glasses aren’t commercially available. It’s also unlikely they will make anywhere near as much money as advertising does for Google’s parent, Alphabet Inc. Of the company’s $68 billion in total revenue from the quarter ending March 31, 2022, about $54 billion came from advertising.

The scope of our own, oblivious involvement in that business is also incomparable with any other time in history.