Google knows a lot about you; Here’s how to find out how much

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New Delhi | Updated: March 12, 2019 6:20:57 PM

Just go through how your photos are categorized, it is most probably - the people and things in the photo.

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While Facebook hogged the attention over misuse of data and other privacy issues in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and data breach last year, Google has so far avoided scrutiny.

However, you will be shocked to know that Facebook knows far less about you than Google does. In fact, Google even records your steps.

But worry not! There’s a way to find how much and what information does Google know about you.

Google allows you to control what you are willing to share with it. Your privacy settings in Google account can help you access not just your browsing history but also your online activity on related products.

And this not just limited to your browsing history, purchasing, videos you watch, location history, online searches among others. And it is almost scary because anything that you have “connected” to Google such as your phone is gathering information.

If Google knows your age, gender, your place of work and residence, it can draw inference such as “22-30-year-old male, living in Delhi who works in tech.”

Things that Google knows about you:

  • Apps that you have used on your Android device
  • Locations you’ve searched on Google maps
  • Every video you’ve watched on YouTube
  • Every comment you have left on YouTube
  • Everything you’ve asked your Google device if you have a Google device
  • All emails, Gmail files, downloads and even drafts

Location history

Google Maps don’t just track the date and location, it also tracks the time, travel time and time duration at each location. Even on products such as Google Fit, Google keeps a track of steps you’ve taken, time you walked or worked out and for how long.

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Apps

The tech giant also gathers information from your apps which you have agreed to such as Uber and Spotify. This also includes extensions of the said app, particularly Messenger which will also enable it to see with whom you are speaking to on Facebook and the activity on it.

Google photos

Google Photos also collects information about where you took the photos, at what time and with whom. Just look through how your photos are categorized, it is most probably – the people and things in the photo.

Google calendar

If you have not disabled Google calendar then it keeps a track of all events you attend and at what time. Google collects search history across all of your devices on a different database, so even after you have deleted your search history or your phone history, Google will still have all the information till you delete off all of your devices.

Passwords and credit card information

Through the automatic fill-ins online such as passwords and credit card information Google’s database stores and saves that as well. This also includes all the purchase you made with them and logins made along with the passwords.

Google stores deleted files

This, you may find is the most disturbing. Google keeps files that you have deleted. However, it may give you some comfort that they are used to give ads and earn profit.

However, despite all the above, the concern remains not just Google or as expected, Facebook but others who have access to this data.

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