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Google now tracks “Google Alert” links

Is that my cell phone he's holding?

Is that my cell phone he's holding?

As of August 25th, 2009, Google Alerts now tracks links from emails through the google.com domain.

Previously, they didn’t.

Old:

http://www.iphonedevsdk.com/forum/iphone-sdk-development/26897-uiimage-potrait-lanscape.html

New:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.iphonedevsdk.com/forum/iphone-sdk-development/26897-uiimage-potrait-lanscape.html&ct=ga&cd=yT7NQ3HLXHk&usg=AFQjCNGpyXwcRX_N7P6YpQtxFTx5fX9osg

These redirect through the Google.com domain, so they can better track which links you click on.

And, on a related note, Google just purchased AdMob, the mobile advertising company, for $750 million dollars.

With the acquisition of AdMob, Google now has access to usage data of many of the most popular mobile apps — especially the apps in the iTunes App Store.

Again, all in the vein that Google keeps grabbing more traffic so they can track your online activity (and mobile, as well), so they can better sell you more stuff.

I’ll continue to whisper my “The Sky is Falling” warning that the amount of traffic that is monitored by Google is way beyond comfortable for me, personally. When is too much, too much?

I guess when they monitor 100% of my online traffic.

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One Comment

  1. Yeah wrote:

    Gee, and I thought that it was just me that noticed this additional Google tracking.

    Did Google ever inform us it was doing this? No, it did not. Did Google give us an option to opt-out? It did not.

    I’ve just switched back to text based alerts – these don’t have the Google tracking. They’re not as easy to read, but I don’t want Google tracking my clicks.

    And here I was thinking that the difference between text and HTML based Google Alerts was only in the presentation. Instead, Google used the nice HTML formatting to obfuscate the fact it tracks our clicks.

    Monday, February 1, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Permalink