If you are not being charged for a product, you are the product.
Google gives you a lot of free things. Those free things are Google’s payment to you.
What is Google? If you say “a tech company” or “a search engine company,” you are wrong. Google is an advertising company.
Google makes its money by selling you. You are the product. Google sells information about you to advertisers. The information they sell is way more detailed and complete than you think it is.
Everything you do with Google’s “free” stuff is recorded and analyzed to learn more about you. Every email you send or receive through Gmail is scanned for keywords. Google knows what you like, what you hate, what you’re afraid of, what you buy, what political views you hold. They can deduce from your pattern of usage what hours you work and how far from home your workplace is. They know if you’re cheating on your partner. The information they collect would make an old-school KGB agent green with envy.
Their business model is selling access to you based on this information to others. Not to government agencies or private investigators; that’s chump change. The real money is selling access based on this information to people who want to sell you things.
Apple sells computers. Google sells you. When you deal with Apple, you are the customer. When you deal with Google, you are the product; Google’s advertising buyers are the customer.
I’m surprised there are still people who don’t know this.
Answer by Franklin Veaux