What Does Google Know about You?
You are probably aware of the fact that Google knows a lot about its users and by a lot I mean that it might actually know too much. The tech giant collects tons of data about you and I am talking about plenty of stuff such as search history, location, and voice searches that help improve Google’s services and provide relevant ads.
After all, the truth is that Google collects this information for a range of reasons, but the most obvious is to provide tailored advertisements to you as you surf the web. Far from just displaying adverts tailored to individual users on Google sites, this software also sends adverts targeted towards specific users to third-party sites served by Google.
At the same time, Google has just become far more open about the data it collects on its visitors or else we wouldn’t know such things. So, starting with April from this year, Google decided to follow a transparency policy after allegations concerning personal information. This policy is about the integration of a control panel that was meant to help the customers have more control over their data.
With the launch of its new widget, My Activity, Google is doing its best to provide people a history of almost every single action, website and behavior they engage in online via its services. In order to find this control panel, go to My Account, where you can see various options and settings concerning your Google Account. Tap on “Your personal info” in order to find out what Google knows about you and your contact information.
There, you will find a list of the emails and phone numbers that you have paired with your Google Account, along with the name, the gender, as well as all other personal information that you provided. If you want, you can also scroll down from the “Your personal information” menu and you will find other choices concerning your past activity with google products. Choose “Go to activity controls”. There, you can review and disable the tracking of your activity including Web & App history, Location history, Device information, as well as voice activity.
If you choose to click on “Go to my activity”, there is a list of your history, sorted by date. Note that this is a history of your entire google account activity with detailed data from Google Chrome, Android and any other Google product you may use.
With these being said, keep in mind that My Activity allows you to choose whether or not you want to be subjected to this type of targeted advertising mechanism. Unlike most other online companies, this service has to be opted in to, not opted out of. If you don’t manually choose to activate this behavioral information system, you will not get targeted ads. In order to find an acceptable situation for both you and Google, the giant encourages users to allow targeted ads, but gives you the option to “mute” the ones they deem irritating.
This will be perfect for those who think that certain ads seem to follow them across the Internet, from site to site, even after they’ve left Google’s main search engine page.