How much information do companies have about us?

Social Security card, padlock and circuit board. Internet Security concept.

In 2018, a writer downloaded his data from Google and Facebook and published an article about it in The Guardian. The amount of information the companies had about him was mind blowing: 

  • The Google data was the equivalent of 3 million Word documents 
  • The Facebook data was about 400,000 Word documents

It included:

  • Histories of every location he’d been in the last year (with the time and date he was there)
  • A calendar of which events he added and which ones he actually attended
  • All the photos he’d ever taken with his phone (including when and where they were taken)
  • Every email he’d ever sent or received (including those he deleted) 

“They also have every image I’ve ever searched for and saved, every location I’ve ever searched for or clicked on, every news article I’ve ever searched for or read, and every single Google search I’ve made since 2009. And then finally, every YouTube video I’ve ever searched for or viewed, since 2008,” Dylan Curran wrote.