Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal rocking Facebook, a lot of users are fretting out on how their private information could be used. However, no one is talking about Google, the search giant that has more information than Facebook.
Google has more information on users than Facebook, notes one venture capitalist.
“If you think Facebook knows a lot about you, try Google,” Kevin Landis, CEO and chief investment officer of Firsthand Capital Management, told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Monday. “They know every search you’ve ever made and everywhere your Android phone has ever been.”
Despite people’s fear of privacy disclosures after the Facebook data scandal, users and investors alike don’t seem to mind Google harvesting their data. Google’s parent company Alphabet on Monday reported first-quarter earnings that beat expectations on earnings per share, revenue and operating income.
“People trust Google more than Facebook,” Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a former data scientist at Google, told CNBC’s Kelly Evans at the Sohn Conference on Monday.
“People are more honest to Google,” Stephens-Davidowitz said. “They tend to tell things to Google that they don’t tell Facebook, about what they’re really thinking, their health conditions.”
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, said Stephens-Davidowitz, who is also author of a book on big data, “Everybody Lies.”
“It helps to make the product better,” he said.
If users were to “freak out” and become more cautious about the amount of data they’re sharing with the search engine, that could be “really, really bad for Google,” he said.
Increased regulation in the technology sector is still a concern, said Landis, who owns shares of Alphabet through his mutual funds.
“That could actually be a bit of a cloud over the stock,” he said.
Short term, however, in light of privacy issues, Google may be winning in the race for ad revenue against Facebook, said Jim Cahn, executive vice president and chief investment officer at Wealth Enhancement Group.
“There are really only two players right now,” Cahn said on “Closing Bell.” “And I think you’re seeing a little bit of a switch,” he said of advertisers moving from the social media platform to Google.
“If Google actually advances their analytics in the same place that Facebook is, the power of those analytics for a marketer is actually going to be greater than what you have with Facebook,” he said.
“Long term, there’s actually more growth to come at Google,” Cahn said.