People assume that installed software does not give out personal computer usage. Can anyone actually verify this?
When you use a program, it is often tied to the Internet. It will check for updates, fixes, patches, etc, but what else is it doing?
Unless you are able to reverse engineer the code, you will not be able to check to see if it is submitting other data.
I frequent Alexa.com. I like to see what you are looking at. I like to see what sites are being visited often. This allows me to see what other people are interested in. In many cases, I will also find some interesting stuff on the sites most visited.
Therefore, I question what else is being collected. When you install any piece of software, does it actually send feedback on how you use the software? Although it maybe used to improve on their software, do you really want other people knowing what you are using their software for? Do you want other people to know what functions you use most often?
It is only a matter of time before they begin collecting information on age, sex, and sexual orientation. They collect this information because we don’t complain. We may grumble, but until we become vocal, this will continue.
If we look at Microsoft Vista, the licensing was changed. Why? People became vocal and demanded change. Therefore, Microsoft made some changes. If we become vocal and refuse to use Google, will Google listen to our demands to not collect data? I am pretty sure that even if we do, Google will hide the fact that it is collecting data.
Gives information on the most visited websites by language, country, and other criteria.
Gives information on the various software used while surfing the Internet. Provides information on other stuff too.
Gives information on the most searched terms in Google.