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A new study reveals which company collects your data the most and which the least

We all know that free apps and services also have a cost. Yes, you are not paying with cash, but you are paying with the data big tech firms collect on you. But how much information do companies really gather, and which company collects the most? Well, attempted to find the answer to exactly this question by conducting a new research.

In its analysis, StockApps compares the data collection practices of five big tech companies: Google, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. However, the report doesn't describe what type of data companies collect from us; instead, StockApps has decided to use "data points" to show us how much information each firm gathers. Also, it emphasizes that each of these companies focuses on a particular category of data, not on quantity.

According to StockApps's research, the company that collects the most personal data — this probably comes as no surprise — is Google. It gathers a whopping 39 data points, and per StockApps's report, the information Big G collects includes anything from your precise location to your browser history and your activity on third-party websites or apps.

Google also gathers the emails in users' Gmail accounts. In addition, the company appears to collect more types of information about individual users. The report goes even further by stating that the tech giant keeps a huge amount of information on several domains and even declares that "if it is data, there is a strong probability that Google is collecting it."

Now, in Google's defense, we must say that it offers a lot of services, so we think it's normal for the company to also need a lot more information in order to keep these services up and properly running.

The next in line are Twitter, Amazon, and Facebook, with 24, 23, and 14 data points, respectively. According to StockApps, Twitter and Facebook also collect a lot of data, but it is mostly information entered by their users.

According to the research, Apple appears to be the most privacy-oriented tech giant out there. It collects only 12 data points, and as StockApps stated, Cupertino only keeps the data required to maintain its users' accounts. However, we must note here that Apple probably collects less data from us because it does not rely on advertising revenue like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. As we know, a large chunk of these companies’ business models is precisely targeted advertising.

Since you're probably wondering how to protect your data from being collected, if you're on an iPhone, you can use Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, which lets you choose which apps can track you. However, if you are using an Android phone, you could visit our Android privacy: how to see if an app is tracking you and what data it collects article and see a few ways you can keep your data from being collected.

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