What are the threats of putting information in the hands of companies like google if you don't give them a platform to serve ads to you on?

Say someone doesn’t use any privacy-invasive products. They use DNS blocklists and local content blockers to stop advertising and tracking, and use apps that don’t serve ads or utilize trackers.

What would the practical consequences of giving data to a corporation with the intention of profitting off data be? What could information such as hardware IDs, IPs, or location be used for?

Is advertising the only real threat companies like google pose?

I’m failing to understand your hypothetical, if someone doesn’t use any privacy-invasive products, what data would there be to give corporations like Google? Assuming someone does use privacy-invasive services, advertising is not the only threat that is posed. What if they suffer a data breach and the vast amount of information collected about you is exposed? As well as this, who knows what will happens to these corporations in the future? Let’s assume a corporation is bought out, If you currently trust said corporation with your data but not the entity buying them…tough luck. You can’t reclaim the data, they have it.


The data would have already been collected in this scenario. As in, they were using google previously, but not any more. I suppose I should have included that in the hypothetical.

You make a good point with the possibility of breaches or companies being sold, but with companies like google with no real chance of being bought and generally good security, are there many other threats?

Google can do a lot more than just serve ads. Off the top of my head:

  • cooperate with the US government to track down people of interest
  • know what you do in their service, read your e-mails for instance if you have a Google account
  • know your location when you sign in
  • read any data automatically when you put whatever it is on Google Drive

They have very good security, one of the best available I would say. But it is very far from private

For a non-US citizen that doesn’t use any services where files and data are stored or uploaded on google servers, it seems like the only major threat is the tracking of location.

Besides account security and advertising (which in this scenario is blocked), what else would Google use this data for?

The only thing I can think of would be selling data to a party with malicious intent, like to an advertiser who uses the data for purposes outside of advertising, or the sale of data to a party that has no intentions of advertising at all (though, is this something Google would or could do?)


Is there any reason why Google couldn’t cooperate with other governments from countries it operates in? Even in that case, those governments may have intelligence agreements with the US government that allow them to gain access to at least some of that data.

They have data, and they are a for-profit business (a very lucrative one, may I add). And you still have no assurances that employees at Google itself won’t go rogue and use that data for their own purposes.

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Maybe it could cooperate with other countries through the Five Eyes, but I am not certain if they do that, or to what extent this relation goes, so I advise to do more research about this topic