KIM KOMANDO

Survey finds 86% are fed up with Big Tech’s intrusive ways

Jun 20, 2021, 5:00 AM
(Pixabay Photo)...
(Pixabay Photo)
(Pixabay Photo)

Years ago, we searched the web, bought new gadgets, and typed in our email addresses without much thought. As far as accounts went, “Hey if it’s free, sign me up,” we thought.

Fast forward to now, and you can’t go online or turn on the news without hearing about the control Big Tech has on our lives — and the growing resentment around it.

We’re not the only ones noticing. Probably due to government initiatives, tech companies are making changes to address these concerns. You can now password protect the page that reveals all your Google searches and other activity.

If you own an iPhone, it’s easier than ever to see what info the apps you use are collecting and block that data from being shared. Tap or click for five iPhone security settings everyone should know about.

Americans may be finally waking up to the fact that when a product is free, they are in fact, the product.

Big Tech: Do you trust it?

I hear from callers to my national radio show and readers from my website and newsletters all the time who say they’re tired of Big Tech companies, their power, and their control. It got me wondering, how widespread is this feeling? I put together a poll and sent it out to subscribers of my free newsletters, and 6,351 people responded.

Here’s a telling stat for you: 86% say they no longer trust Big Tech companies. As a country, we realize how much power and influence they have on our everyday lives.

When’s the last time you got through a day without picking up your iPhone or Android smartphone? What about your Apple or Microsoft computer? Shopping on Amazon or scrolling through posts on Facebook?

The survey found that 76% of those who responded use Google daily, followed by Microsoft (60%), Apple (49%), and Facebook (45%). Over 40% shop on Amazon or use Amazon owned-products like the Echo daily; 89% are active shoppers on Amazon.com.

Only a mere 1.34%, or 85 people, of those polled say they don’t interact with at least one of those companies every day.

Who is watching and listening?

If you have a smart speaker at home, I bet you have wondered, “Is it listening to me all the time?” It’s one of the reasons I unplugged my Amazon Echo and stuck it in the garage.

I asked those polled if they think smart speakers listen to what you say all of the time instead of only when you use the “wake” words. A whopping 82.73% said “all the time.”

Amazon, Apple and Google will tell you their AI assistants only listen for the wake words, like “Alexa,” “Siri” and “Hey, Google.” One issue, though, is how often smart speakers are accidentally triggered.

A 2020 study from Ruhr University Bochum in Germany showed a combined 1,000 phrases could trigger Alexa (“election,” “a letter”), Google Home (“OK, cool,” “OK, you know”), Siri (“hey Jerry,” “hey, seriously”) and Microsoft’s Cortana (“Montana,” “frittata”).

Worried your smart assistant hears too much? Tap or click to stop all your smart devices from listening to you and recording what you say. A good rule of thumb is to keep smart speakers out of bedrooms and bathrooms.

Nearly 60% of poll respondents fear their smartphones are spying on them and say they’ve experienced the phenomenon when they’re having a conversation about something and then saw an ad online for that exact product.

Before you jump to thinking your phone’s microphone is recording what you say, there could be other reasons for the coincidence. Maybe you searched for something similar before, or someone in your house did. Your home’s IP address is used to target you with ads, after all.

What about Google alternatives?

Here’s one of the most conclusive answers from my survey: 92% of respondents think Google knows too much information about their personal lives.

Think about it. Many of us use Google for our email, video meetings, document storage, web browser and much more. Tap or click here to see everything Google knows about you with one quick search.

You have great alternatives you want to step outside the Google-sphere. I have all your nonGoogle options listed here on my site from search sites that don’t track, mail, browsers, maps, and video sites.

Send all interview requests about the survey to: press@komando.com.

To see the rest of the survey’s findings, check out the full results on my website.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Kim Komando

(Pixabay Photo)...
Kim Komando

These are the top 5 signs you need a new laptop

Let’s look at the clear-cut signs buying a new laptop is in your immediate future.
5 days ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Kim Komando

Protect your privacy, cellphone number and email address

One way to cut down on the endless attempts to steal your money and info for sale to marketers is to limit who has your contact information. Here are some simple, free ways to do it.
6 days ago
(Public Domain Pictures Photo)...
Kim Komando

Remove these 5 dangerous tech gadgets from your home now

Some outdated tech gadgets are security and safety risks, too. Scan this list to make sure you and your family are safe.
8 days ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Kim Komando

How to scan a QR code on your smartphone without using any apps

Your smartphone is full of surprises. There’s an app if you want to use your phone as a magnifying glass or scanner. Tap or click here for hidden apps on your smartphone and how to find them. Third-party programs take up space on your phone, and many are redundant thanks to your phone’s built-in capabilities. […]
9 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Kim Komando

3 common mistakes made when installing security cameras

Security cameras give us peace of mind that our homes and valuables are safe when we're away. Here are steps you can take to protect the devices that protect you.
13 days ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Kim Komando

Before you start holiday shopping, do this to hide gift purchases

The holidays will be here before you know it, and like it or not, Amazon is an easy way to get something everyone will love.
17 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Survey finds 86% are fed up with Big Tech’s intrusive ways