Google search Awais Chaudhry
However, some of it started to make sense when I learned about cookies in EECS 485(Web Systems). I learned that whenever you visit a website, there are certain third-party cookies such as from Google or other advertising agencies that collect data about your behavior on those websites. As a result, the first thing I did was to go down to my Google Chrome site settings, and block third-party cookies because I didn’t want advertising agencies selling my information and chasing me on the web pages I follow. However, that still left me unclear on how exactly were they able to relate me to my relatives, maybe through my last name. Then, there was my name listed as 31 years which made me realize that they probably don’t have a concrete source of information for my records. However, in addition, there was the city name through which all of my relatives and I were connected. Then, they also had a phone number and landline number under my profile, but that information was locked under the paid membership of white pages. Therefore, even though some of the data was inaccurate such as age, other information such as my relatives, and the city was very close to being accurate.
Interesting points about Yahoo Search
The interesting point, however, about the searches on two different search engines was that I didn’t find the white pages about myself on Google.com until the 5th page or so in the browsing search tabs. However, for Yahoo.com, I was able to find the white pages on the first page of browsing search tabs. Another interesting point was that the Yahoo searches were able to link me to a news article with my class fellows and me in it with pictures. So, not only did the search results returned the link to that news article, but my image from that news article was also displayed in the Yahoo Images tab. The fact that my picture showed up with the news was interesting because it was just a local news channel, but it was able to bring up those results. On the other hand, Google Image results didn’t have that picture up in the Google Images which was contradictory to my expectation because I have been using Google Maps, Youtube, Google Assistant, Gmail far more than I have ever used Yahoo. In fact, I currently own a phone that was developed by Google, and as a result, I was surprised by how Yahoo had so much more information about me.
Other results on search engines
Other than the results explained above, most of my search results returned random profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Pinterest, etc. of people who had the name “Awais” or something similar to my last name. So, besides my Facebook page, LinkedIn page, and white pages, it is probably hard to find something about my specific name because it’s a really common name in South Asia and Arab countries. As a result, most of my search results had profiles from those countries.
Data on Facebook
Now, moving onto my social media, I created my first Facebook account around 6 or 7 years ago, and that’s one profile that I like to keep updated from time to time. For instance, I add my job experiences, cities I have lived in so far because I, sometimes, look for jobs/internships through Facebook. Facebook also has the month/day of my birth data, although I believe that I hid the year recently. Also, I had noticed that a lot of information on Facebook was public of me such as my phone number, date of birth. Therefore, I took a privacy check one day and spent a couple of hours trying to hide information that wasn’t necessary for the public.
Google Photos tracking by location. It was hard to believe at first that how smoothly Google had used the data from my photos to link me to my current location and built an almost accurate timeline of the whole year. From one point of view, it was relishing to have my memories collected based on my location in Google Photos because I didn’t have to do any hard work. However, from another point of view, it was horrifying because my photos might have been used to train the machine learning algorithms of Google.
- “Understand, Find & Edit Your Photos' Locations - Android.” Google Photos Help, Google, support.google.com/photos/answer/6153599?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en.