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What Does Google Know About Me?

Google has extensive knowledge of its users because it is the company behind the world’s largest search engine, video-sharing platform, email service, and mobile operating system. Once upon a time, it used to be just a search engine. Of course, it’s much more than that now. Its products are hard to avoid. 

You might regularly use the programs like Google Chrome, Google Mail, Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Photos, and YouTube. It’s fair to say that Google has dominated many people’s digital lives. Although you might not mind sharing your name, you might not want Google to be aware of your appearance and current location.

All things considered, don’t worry; you’ve found the right place. This article will demonstrate how to view the information that Google has on you. Along with that, you’ll discover how to stop Google from tracking you.

What Information about Me Does Google Have

What Information about Me Does Google Have?

They gather all the information below:

  • Your name
  • Your gender
  • Your birthdate 
  • Your email address 
  • Your contact details 
  • Your residence 
  • Your place of employment 
  • Websites you’ve visited 
  • The queries you entered into Google Search 
  • Your preferred ads 
  • Your pursuits 
  • Your photos
  • The locations you’ve been around the world
  • Your IP address and cookie data 
  • Your recent video viewing history 
  • Your YouTube search history 
  • What you’ve said to the Google Assistant etc.

How is Google Collecting My Data?

It’s great to show how much information Google has about you by showing how it collects data. There isn’t any covert spying going on with Google, to tell the truth. The information you provide them with while using their services is simply stored. The data, however, can go back years because they store almost everything and keep a historical record of it.

Here are some examples of Google services:

  • Google Search: Every search you make while using the Google search engine is recorded in Google’s history. This much information stands alone, but it becomes even more thorough when combined with the next.
  • Google Chrome: Even though Chrome may be the best browser currently on the market, it also gives Google history of every website you’ve visited, even if you didn’t find it through the search. 

Web cookies are informational data sets that a computer receives to personalize the websites you visit. Cookies are frequently used to track website activity and track who visits it.

  • Google Maps: Google will have access to your location and history if you use Google Maps, particularly if you use the navigation feature.
  • Google Apps: The shortest way to sum up this long list is to say, and every other Google application or service. Google Calendar, Docs, Photos, Drive, Gmail, and other services fall under this category.
  • YouTube: Google keeps a record of all the videos you’ve watched and the searches you’ve made on YouTube.
  • Android: Because Google is also tracking your phone and is therefore not dependent on Waze or Google Maps, this one may be deemed ineffective. Your text messages, as well as the apps you use, are also stored by Android. 

Even though Google’s access to an iPhone isn’t quite as broad as it is to an Android device, the company can and will still share data when you use Google apps on an iPhone or iPad.

Why Does Google Gather My Information?

It’s a form of exploitation, to put it briefly. Google wants to personalize your experience with its services and target your advertisements. By allowing Google to collect all of this data, you are enabling thousands of advertisers to compete to have their ads displayed to you based on the sensitive personal information you have provided.

It’s noteworthy that you may have been using Google for years at no cost. Free isn’t always really free, though. You do give Google a ton of information when you use its services to search the web or watch videos online. To build your profile for individualized advertising, Google uses this data.

Why Should I Be Concerned?

You have the right to protect your data because it is a valuable resource, especially if you are concerned about its intended use or the recipients of its transmission. Your data runs the risk of falling into the hands of cybercriminals. Data breaches do not exempt Google. A company like Google may also be required to provide your data to the government upon request if it has your data. 

How Can I See the Information That Google Has about Me?

You can simply follow these steps after opening your browser and signing into Google or Gmail:

  • Click the “Apps” button in the top-right corner.
  • Next, select “Account.”
  • Select “Manage Your Data & Privacy” from the “Privacy & Personalization” section.
  • Finally, choose “Ad Personalization” under “Ad Settings.” Your personalized ads will now be visible to you. The information Google has might surprise you.
  • You can see every characteristic Google has connected to you based on your searches, Gmail inbox, and YouTube history on this screen.

How to Erase All of the Data Google Knows about Me?

Once more, deleting the information Google has on you is fairly simple, as is limiting the amount of information you provide. You can access this from the same page where you can view the data that Google has collected about you under the title “Data and Privacy.”

Remember that you can even perform a privacy audit and select the settings most appropriate for you at the top of the page.

  • Delete your Google Web & App activity

When you choose “Web & App Activity,” you can choose to delete your activity by clicking the “Delete” button in the page’s middle and selecting from the options last hour, last day, always, or custom range. By selecting “Saving Activity” and then clicking “Turn Off” on the “Web & App Activity” page, you can also stop further data collection.

  • Remove your personal information from Google Search

If someone decides to search you and you don’t want your personal Google Account information to appear, just locate the tab labeled “Personal Results in Search,” click on it, and then select the check box to disable the option for “Search” to display personal results based on information in your Google Account.

  • Manage your Google email preferences

Suppose you are tired of receiving emails from Google with specific offers and travel advice. In that case, you can change your email settings and disable them by selecting “Manage Email Preferences” from the “Emails From Google Services” tab.

  • Delete and disable your Google location history

To stop tracking and enable auto-delete to erase any previously saved location data, click the “Location History” link on the Google location page. Choose “Turn Off.” The “Delete Activity Older Than 3 Months” option is located under “Auto-Delete” at the bottom of the page. To save your selection and remove previous location data, select your preferred options and then click “Next.”

  • Adjust your Google Ads personalization

You also have the option to turn off all personalized ads by clicking a button located on the upper-right side of the “My Ad Center” page. Or you can choose to customize your personalized ads or further manage your ad privacy setting. However, as long as personalized ads are enabled, Google will still share some of your information with advertisers. 

  • Deactivate and delete your YouTube history

By choosing “YouTube History” in the “Controls” menu and pressing “Turn Off,” you can delete your history and stop YouTube from collecting any more data. At the bottom of the page, you should also enable ” Auto-Delete. “

  • Stop third-party access to your Google data

Find the “Third-Party Apps With Account Access” tab on the privacy page and click it to prevent third parties from accessing specific apps and services. When you click on it, you can see which outside parties can access your account and change settings. Then click the services whose permissions you want to change and choose the option to block access.

You might not be able to unlink a third-party account from your Google Account with some third-party accounts, so you’ll need to check the settings on the websites of those services to manage that.

  • Delete your Google account

You can delete your Google Account by going to the “More Options” section at the bottom of the privacy page and choosing “Delete Your Google Account” if you’ve had it with Google and simply want to leave.

What are My Alternatives to Google?

You can switch from an Android device to an iPhone, install the Firefox browser, and replace Google Search with DuckDuckGo. But if you just want fundamental restrictions on how much information Google knows about you, you don’t need to go quite far. You can frequently choose not to allow Google to store information about you.