Google has a lot of information on its users. It uses the information it has to provide personalized experiences towards each user. This personalization extends to every part of our Google experience, from having videos that we like queued up on Youtube, to seeing relevant ads on products that help us find the best deals. The company gets this information from a wide variety of sources and links everything to a Google account.
They provide a feature which allows a user to track the information that Google stores about them.You can view your profile here. All you need to do is have a Google account signed in.
What data do they collect
A large amount of data is collected from a large number of sources. Here is what I found when I checked out my activity history.
- Phone number,contacts
- My apps (how many times I open them ,when I opened them)
- My location history over the past couple of years
- Every voice command with OK Google
- Youtube search history
- Google search History
- My ad preferences(likings and wants)
And if you have Google home connected it even knows which room you turned your lights on!
Google’s analysis of your ad preferences
Google has your location history
This feature is called Timeline, it utilizes location data to create a virtual map of where you have been. If you use google photos it also uses the location information there to give you complete data of the places you visited in the past. It shows where you have been to with an exact pin point on your hotel, your duration of stay and the photos you clicked while you were there with their respective timestamps.
The company also stores your Youtube and Google search history in order to understand your needs through your searches. In order to provide you better suggestions.You can look at your Youtube search history and Google search history here.
How can we reduce the Information Google has?
Google provides an easy interface to view the data it has collected and also makes it easy for users to stop it from collecting information from a particular source.You can restrict access to any data by just toggling off the toggle switch in that specific category.Also Google provides you with an option to download all of the data it has on you,so that you may have a local copy or port of all this to a different service.
You can do so here.
Is all of this legal?
Google also promises that the data is inaccessible to any third-party companies and that a price tag will never be associated with the data.
So do you think privacy is a myth in todays tech-savvy world ? Let me know in the comments below.