Recently, Pierre bought a plane ticket for a trip to Florence online, while his friend Ariane was looking for a house in the region on Airbnb. Even before the young man had the opportunity to open the message on Gmail confirming the resort, Google had “read” this email … and linked the two events in a single trip in the Google Travel application! One example, among thousands of others, of how our smartphones have become the permanent cookies of our connected lives.
Whether through geolocation, navigation cookies or online shopping, the digital world has abolished any possibility of confidentiality. Our computers, tablets and phones continuously transmit millions of personal data to brands, web giants and even, in some cases, governments. According to a 2018 Digital Content Next report, a phone equipped with the Android mobile operating system (OS) and a Chrome browser (both produced by Google) transmits 11.6 megabits of data per day when active … and 4.4 when it is inactive. In particular, it indicates its geolocation 340 times per 24 hours! A new study by Douglas Leigh of the University of Dublin, published in February [PDF, en anglais], shows that things have not improved since. Apple iPhones are a little more virtuous, but not free from blame either.
Even if we have nothing special to hide,
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