You probably don’t realize just how much of your private data Google tracks about you, because the tech giant does an excellent job at hiding it from you. However, if you care to dig deep into the settings page of your Google account, you’ll be very surprised at what you find there! To be clear, this isn’t necessarily bad; on the contrary, keeping close tabs on its users helps Google customize their experience to meet their unique needs and desires. The Disturbing Reality of How Much Google Actually Knows About You
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If you’re like most people, you probably use Google every day without giving much thought to the fact that the company is collecting a huge amount of data about you. But what exactly is Google tracking, and why? What does it do with this information? And how do they know so much about you anyway? The answer to these questions are complicated and vary from person to person, but there are some commonalities that we all share. All users can see an overview of their account by logging into their Google account and clicking on My Account in the top right corner. Here, they can see detailed information about their Gmail activity as well as browsing history (such as YouTube videos watched). They can also click on Active services to see which apps have access to your data or Ads Settings to opt out of personalized ads.
A MONTH OF YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES AND INTERACTIONS
Do you ever feel like you’re being watched? If you use Google, the answer is probably yes. From the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed, there’s a good chance that Google is tracking your every move. Here’s a look at how much they know about you from a day in the life of someone who has an Android phone and an iPhone, according to Ghostery. -Google knows what websites are visited on Chrome browser. -Google knows where people shop online (including which stores are most popular). -Google knows what apps are downloaded and installed (even if deleted). -Google records search queries on both its desktop site and mobile app. It also records what questions are asked in voice searches on mobile devices.
PERSONAL INFORMATION YOU VOLUNTARILY POST ONLINE
Most people are aware that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter collect data about their users. What many don’t realize, however, is that Google also collects a vast amount of data about its users – even if they don’t have a Google account. In fact, a recent study found that Google tracks more private data of its users than any other firm among the Big Five tech companies. The study determined that Google can track your location every two minutes; it knows what kind of places you visit, where you travel to, how often you go there, how long you stay for, who your friends are and more. All this information goes into Google’s People-Finder, which is used by law enforcement agencies all over the world. Even when you delete your search history from your computer or phone, this doesn’t stop Google from tracking everything else. Plus, as soon as you use one of its services (such as Gmail), Google starts collecting new information about you without asking for permission.
ADVERTISEMENTS THAT ENGAGE YOU BASED ON YOUR PRIVATE DATA
Ads that are based on your private data are incredibly effective. They can be customized to target your specific interests, which makes you more likely to click on them. And, since they’re coming from a trusted source (Google), you’re more likely to believe the information they contain. For example, an ad could tell you that there’s been an accident at your nearby intersection and suggest driving safely in another direction. Even if it was just one or two sentences long, this simple message would have enough impact to change how you live out the rest of your day. Google knows where you go, what you buy, who your friends are, where you live, what you like to do for fun—and the list goes on. The fact is that people trust Google so much because of their friendly design that they don’t even think about whether or not it might use their personal data for its own purposes.
THE WAY GOOGLE COLLECTS SOME DATA WHILE IT DOESN’T COLLECT OTHERS.
Have you ever wondered just how much Google knows about you? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably not much. After all, what could the world’s largest search engine possibly know about us that we don’t already know ourselves? Well, it turns out quite a lot.
This week Bloomberg published an in-depth report on the disturbing reality of how much Google actually knows about its users – and in many cases they know more than you would imagine or want them to know.
Among all five Big Tech firms – Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) – Google has by far the most data on its users among those who have access to it.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO REDUCE YOUR GOOGLE TRACKING
By now, we’re all well aware that Google tracks our every move. But did you know that the extent of their tracking might be even more disturbing than you thought? Here are a few things you can do to reduce your Google tracking 1) If you use Gmail, use restricted mode by turning on the setting in the general tab and selecting Always restrict these types of messages.
2) Turn off web and app activity for data security reasons by going to Activity Controls in your account settings. 3) Turn off ads personalization so you don’t see targeted ads based on your interests or online behavior by going to Ads Settings. 4) Opt out of Location History so Google will stop storing information about where you go, which device you’re using, and how long it takes you to get there (under Location Settings).