Technology

Here’s how to find out what Google knows about you

Due to the recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, it has been highlighted how much of our data is stored and used without our knowledge.
It has made users more aware of data privacy and security.
To that end, Twitter user Dylan Curran has detailed in what capacity Google obtains our information in a 30-tweet long thread. Brace yourselves.
Maps
Google knows where you’ve been (and for how long)
Google tracks your location every time you turn your phone on, i.e., if you have enabled the location service.
It compiles that information into a timeline, which includes everywhere you have been since you first linked your Google account to your phone, at what time in the day were you at different locations, and the time it took you to commute between two locations.
Try it out here.
Search
Google stores every single search you have made
Everything you search on Google across devices is stored in a separate database by the company.
To get rid of that, deleting your Google search histories is not enough. You will have to go to that database from all individual devices.
Further, Google analyzes your account activity to create an advertisement profile. It feeds off information like hobbies, interests, profession, gender, and age.
Try it for yourself!
Apps
Google tracks whom are you talking to on Facebook
Every app and extension you use on Google, be it a third-party app like Facebook or Google’s own service like Chrome, is listed with the company.
Google stores all the information regarding the usage of those apps including where you use them, how frequently you use them, and in what capacity you use them (for example, it knows whom you are talking to on Facebook).
YouTube
The YouTube videos you watch tell a lot about you
Next, Google stores and analyzes your YouTube history.
Based on the videos you watch, your religion, political leanings, economic status, personality type and behavioral traits can be inferred. For example, Google knows if you are pregnant or if you are facing mental health issues.
Such information can be then used to manipulate user behavior online.
Google Takeout
Breakdown of the Google Takeout document (don’t freak out)
The Google Takeout document contains every single Google search that you have made, the websites you have accessed, and all the images you have downloaded.
The Google Calendar document details all the events you have added, if you attended them, and at what time did you attend them.
Further, the Google Drive document contains the files that you have already deleted from the platform.
Gmail
It doesn’t end here…
The Gmail document stores every e-mail you have sent or received, even if they have been deleted.
The downloadable file lists every Google Ad you have ever clicked on and every app you have used.
And let’s not forget, all of this concerns a single Google account. If you have more than one Gmail IDs, double the data exploitation.

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