It’s no secret that Google controls a large portion of the internet. After all, most of our searches are gone using Google, we watch videos on YouTube, and many websites with ads rely on Google’s Adsense. But exactly how often does our data get sent over to Google? The answer might surprise you if you install this app.
The app in question is called “Googerteller” and was created by Bert Hubert, the original developer behind PowerDNS, and was created for Linux-based machines. Basically what it does is that the app will play an audible alert whenever a website you visit sends your personal data over to Google, and in the demo video below, it’s actually kind of alarming how often this happens.
I made a very very simple tool that makes some noise every time your computer sends data to Google. Here a demo on the official Dutch government jobs site. The noise starts while typing the domain name already. Code, currently Linux only: https://t.co/ZjKeOSfYff pic.twitter.com/dEr8ktIGdo
— Bert Hubert 🇺🇦 (@bert_hu_bert) August 21, 2022
How it works is pretty simple – the app relies on a list of public IP addresses that are associated with various Google services. So what happens is that whenever a website you visit has elements, such as ads, that connect to these services, users will hear a beep on their computers.
The app doesn’t actually block the data from being sent, but rather it’s just a way to let people be aware of how much data of theirs is being shared with Google. While the demo uses Chrome, which some might argue could cause more “pings” due to tight integration with Google, Hubert also discovered similar results when using Firefox.
Like we said, the app is designed for Linux-based machines and we’re not sure if Hubert has plans to maybe eventually create a version for Windows or Mac or maybe even a browser extension, but if you’re interested in checking it out, it is available to download for free from Github.