By TechThop Team
Posted on: 23 Aug, 2022
The Google Data Add-on for Linux lets you know when Google receives your data with a sound. According to Github, the Linux add-on is called 'Googerteller' and provides you with 'audible feedback on how much your browsing feeds into Google.'
Bert Hubert created the add-on, as a software developer and member of a Dutch oversight board. This system is based on publically available Google IP addresses, which is what sets off the beeps.
This system is scarier than it ought to be. Please listen along to the example video above to hear how the system beeps and makes noises as Hubert types into the Google Chrome search bar.
This means that Google is collecting data on your keystrokes when you are using Google Chrome's address bar, as this is what is used to determine the autofill prompts you will see when you run your browser.
A beep is heard when Hubert enters the page. As he clicks any listings on the page, a beep is heard as well. Aside from testing the add-on with Google Chrome's data collection, Hubert also placed this test in Firefox. The machine continues to beep.
As Hubert pointed out, many websites leak information to Google without retrieving the information you need. There's a beep when HTTPS is requested, but it must go over the wire. If DNS fails already, there's no sound.
The add-on has been criticized for misleading claims. One Twitter user pointed out that the beeps apply to DNS requests, TCP handshakes, and Google Analytics script loading.
The problem is that it's so much data to generalize over that we have no idea what Google is doing with it.
This sounds scary to you? You're not alone. People were shouting 'yikes' at the beeps in the comments section.
Think about using a more secure browser if you'd like to increase your privacy. Despite a Twitter user claiming that he got Googerteller to work with macOS, Googerteller is available for Linux users.
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