Dutch software developer Bert Hubert has developed an application that beeps whenever Google receives data from internet users.
It is stated that the application called Googerteller almost never stops beeping.
Every time users connect to the internet, a significant portion of their personal data is shared with internet companies. Whether searching on Google or watching videos on YouTube, users’ computers send a lot of data to Google.
This data is often used to show personalized ads to users.
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Recent studies show that Google collects the largest amount of data of all major tech companies, including Twitter, Apple, Amazon and Facebook.
Hubert wanted to enable users to track this data sharing on a moment-by-moment basis with a new app.
Googerteller works using a list of IP addresses that Google provides for free.
When the app detects that the user’s device is connected to one of these IP addresses, it sends a warning notification that data is being shared with Google.
Hubert also showed how the app is used in practice in a video he shared on his Twitter account.
The video shows Hubert’s data being retrieved multiple times while he was browsing the Dutch government’s website.
“I made a very, very simple tool that makes a little noise every time your computer sends data to Google,” the software developer wrote in a Twitter post:
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
The application does not only beep when using Google Chrome. The “beep” is also heard continuously in Firefox, the search engine developed by the free software community Mozilla.
Googerteller, on the other hand, currently only works on devices running the Linux operating system. Launched in 1991, Linux is a free software project with a general public license.
“Free software” is a type of software that gives users the right to run, copy, review and modify it.
Free software has evolved into a movement in the face of big tech companies manipulating users with secret algorithms and collecting large amounts of data, and has become known as the “free software movement”.