Blog entry by marie robert
Google collects a huge amount of online data about its users through different Google apps and services. It has raised concerns among the advocates of Privacy. But, the question arises how much information Google has collected about you. The answer depends on the number of Google apps and services you are using, like Google Docs, Google Calendar, etc.
How Google Gathers Your Data?
If you understand how Google gathers your data, it will become easy for you to know how much Google knows about you. It is not that Google is spying on you, but it simply stores all the information that you search online using its services. But, this is enough to store important data and keep a historical record about you. Here is Google Services that you use:-
Google Chrome: Google Chrome gives a history of all those websites that you have visited even if you have opened the specific website while searching for it.
Google Search: It keeps a history of all those searches that you have done through its search engine.
Google Maps: Whenever you use Google Maps for navigating some location, it gives access to Google to all locations with its history.
YouTube: Google keeps a record of those videos you have watched by tracking your searches on YouTube.
Android: When you are using Android, Google does not need to rely on its other services to rack your information. It tracks your phone along with your text messages and everything that you have saved on it. If you were addicted to Candy Crush a few years back, then Google knows about it.
Waze: Google gathers a lot of information through Waze as it is a crowd sourcing service that helps to guide the drivers.
Google Apps: It includes Google Calendar, Google Docs, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos, etc. enough to send every valuable information about you.
Note: Although Google has no direct access to the iPhone as it enjoys on Android, it can still gather information about you using Google Maps or Google Photos on any iPhone.
The Things Google Knows About You
So, if you are quite feeling exposed, then it can be understood. It is also clear that we are not living in a world with not so much Privacy. It is only due to this data tracking that you see advertisements for any product or service. Also, Google uses the information of locations gathered through Android phones to tell the traffic conditions in a particular area. Moreover, you can see all your online data if you know where to view it all. Here is what you can do:-
- You can view an overview of the information gathered by Google in the advertisements settings. These settings can be defined as an outline used by Google to send you targeted ads.
- You can check the history of your web activities, including the websites you have searched and visited both.
- You can also view the webpage of Google for knowing the location history it has kept on you.
- You can check the websites and apps that are using your Google credentials to allow you to Sign-in. You can also check the apps and websites that access information from Google services in your account permissions.
- You can visit the link https://takeout.google.com/settings/takeout and download a packet of data with all information that Google has stored on you.
How to Stop Google From Collecting Data About You
You can stop using the services and apps of Google to prevent it from gathering data about you. You can start using the iPhone instead of Android and can install the web browser Firefox. Moreover, you can switch to WolframAlpha and DuckDuckGo instead of using Google Search. It can be an extreme step, so if you want to put some limits in basic form only on Google, you can do these things:
You can select Activity controls to edit the things that you don’t want to be saved in your Google account. You can prevent the search giant from tracking various things such as web & app activity, location, voice & audio activity, information of the device, YouTube searches, and watch history.
You can enable Privacy to check features and make the modifications through your Google account. You can opt yourself out from the Google services that share your information when you are visiting it. Google uses Google Analytics service to help in analyzing visitors on various websites.