Life without Google

Life without Google

Google has permeated in almost every area of our lives. Its life is dependent on the Internet and the constant data retrieval. Google started as a search engine in 1998 with the mission ‘ to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’ and with a motto “Don’t do evil” which seemed to be a dig at other companies at that time. However, by 2020 life without Google was almost unthinkable. We have had generations growing up ‘Googling’ the answers rather than asking an adult or searching for information in the library. Google has grown so big that it has had to create a parent company called Alphabet to control it all. Google has also changed from its early days of doing no evil and making information accessible and useful to criticisms over privacy concerns, tax avoidance, antitrust, censorship and search neutrality and finally removing the “Don’t do evil” motto from its company culture in 2015.

Life has changed so much since its inception that even words do not have the same meaning anymore. Farming and mining have a total different meaning when you stick data in front. Google has large data farms and mines for data to store, share, keep and sell. Below are some of the Google products that you might be using knowingly or unknowingly. In most cases, the default settings are to allow Google to own your data and even when Google says they will not keep the data or will keep it private they have proven to lie over and over again.

Google Maps: Records/stores every step you take and every journey you have made.

Google Search: Records/stores each search you make from intimate questions to your spelling mistakes.

Gmail: Records/stores all you connections and every email you send with locations pin pointed.

Chrome Browser: Records/stores every website you have visited even non-Google related. Knows how long you spend on each website and page. It even knows the machine and Internet provider you have used to access it.

Calendar: Records/stores all your past, present and future plans.

Google Assistant: ‘Hey Google’ listens into your private conversations and stores them for you even without you knowing. Uses your voice for testing purposes.

Android: Follows every step you take and every destination you have visited. Allows personal data to be sold/retrieved for third party use.

Google Translate: Records/stores all your conversations in other languages.

Google Photos: Has all your intimate and public photos and will keep them forever. Will use it for facial recognition and sell to third parties.

YouTube: Records/stores all your music and video taste. Will recommend content according to your location and previous history.

Google Play: Records/stores your playing times, likes/dislikes of games.

Google Messages: Records/stores all your personal/work messages with locations.

Google Duo: Records/stores all your video calls. Will use your data for voice and facial recognition software.

Google Contacts: Records/stores all your connections. Will know anyone not already linked to Google.

Google G Suite: Records/stores all your work files. Will monitor your files.

Google Fit: Records/stores your health status, medical history/condition. How often you work out or not at all.

Google Nest: Records/stores the temperature of your house. Linking your availability at home

Google Wifi: Records/stores all your devices connected through it.

Google Keep: Records/stores your thoughts, brainstorming, and reading.

Google News: Records/stores what you read, what makes you angry or happy. Will inform your political affiliations.

The above is just a brief overview of the products and services that Google offers and what it can potentially hold about you. ALL NEVER TO BE DELTED. EVER.

Need I say more? This is more intrusive then being spied upon. Is there any person in your life that knows more than Google about you? I would argue Google knows more about you than you know yourself. Data should be personal. Data should be a human right for all to keep private. Data should never be sold.

I for one will not prostitute my data.

So what can you do?

Facebook: You can start by deleting your Facebook account and connect with real friends. Replace it with LinkedIn if you must and keep it professional.

WhatsApp: Delete it. Replace it with Signal, the only real privacy alternative.

Google: Stop using anything Google even your Android phone. Replace with an Apple phone.

Google Search: Replace it with DuckDuckGo. Uses the same index as Google but never stores your data or searches.

Take back control of your data.



About The Author


  1. room552

    That’s quite a list, indeed! If you don’t want to use Apple products, this could be an alternative to Android:
    I leave my Android phone at home, simcard-free, and travel with a simple feature phone.

  2. icttoolbox

    Thanks for that. Very helpful. I had looked at E in its early days and then forgot about it. Do you have an e phone? Would you recommend it? I choose Apple because it allows me the same features of a Smartphone but allowing me to keep the data on my phone only. Sim Free is great but I use my phone for the camera and Maps which is a great help. However, interested in knowing your feedback regarding e.

  3. room552

    I bought a second hand Motorola cheap and installed e on it myself – that’s not for everyone, it should be said. It was a bit of an involved process. The alternative though is to buy a refurbished phone with /e/ pre-installed from their website. I think they are also working an a collaboration with FairPhone (, so this would be a brand new phone with e as OS. This is costly, but still cheaper than Apple phones and ethically a great combination of OS and hardware.

    The one question I had over using e as OS was my online banking. I never felt 100% sure it was safe to use the Gapps method of accessing the banking app I use while not being registered with GooglePlay store. That’s simply because I don’t know enough about it and it could be my concerns were unfounded. That’s why I have a wifi only Android smartphone to use as a kind of mini tablet at home, mainly for the banking app.

    Lastly, since e is trying to do something revolutionary, there are problems and hurdles along the way that you have to be willing to deal with. You have to believe in what they are doing and realise that by using e you are also helping them make it better. There is a great, very response community on Telegram and elsewhere for reporting issues.

    What came out of all of this for me is that I don’t need a smartphone outside the house. It’s true I don’t have digital maps handy, but I just prepare before going out and it’s usually not an issue. Walking around with a feature phone has helped me feel a lot less anxious about needing to check the internet and other things all the time. The Nokia 8114 (Matrix banana phone reissue) is a really good model for this, because it does have 4G and so can operate as a hotspot if you really need internet.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *