Dev creates app that alerts you whenever you send data to Google

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C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • The creator of PowerDNS created an app that tells you whenever your computer sends data to Google.
  • The app is called Googerteller.
  • You can install it for free, but the app only works on Linux-based operating systems.

If you have a Linux-based operating system, want to know if Google is tracking your data, and don’t mind incessant beeping, then the Googerteller is the app for you.

Created by developer Bert Hubert, the Googerteller is an app that’s designed to beep every time your computer sends data to Google. If his name sounds familiar, it may be because he is the creator of PowerDNS, a widely used open-source DNS server program. As a privacy advocate, Hubert created the Googerteller to understand what type of data is sent to Google, when it’s sent, and where it happens.

In today’s internet landscape, it’s not uncommon for tech companies like Facebook and Amazon to gather user data for various purposes. Google, in particular, is known for tracking the way you use its search engine and other apps. While gathering the data can help Google further improve its offerings, it’s not hard to see why some would consider it a bit invasive.

Knowing how pervasive Google Analytics and Google’s ad networks are, you can probably guess how often the app beeps when it’s active. If you’re having a hard time imagining, then you can just check out the video below Hubert tweeted of himself typing in a Chrome browser:

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

According to 9To5Google, the Googerteller works by using the list of IP addresses that are publicly provided by Google and are associated with many Google services. When your computer makes a connection with the addresses, it causes the app to beep.

If you’d like to try the app for yourself, it’s available for free. While it’s only designed to work for Linux-based operating systems, some people have made it work on macOS.

Although this is a novel way to learn about how Google tracks you, unfortunately, it won’t do anything to stop it. However, there are steps you can take to limit Google’s tracking. If you’d like to learn how, you can check out our how to page.

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