So Google knows a big deal about everyone and everyone kind of knows it. Some people are really big on privacy issues and are a bit hesitant to let Google collect data from them, at least as long as they are aware about it. Google’s history with user privacy is well-known. The company has faced various lawsuits in the past. Mountain View knew early on that people will have trust issues and hence the company unofficially adopted the motto, “Don’t be evil”
But how much does Google know about you exactly? Fortunately, it’s more easy to find out than one would think. All you have to do is go to myactivity.google.com and log into your Google account. Thereafter, you will be able to see everything that Google has on you. Not to scare anyone, but it is kind of scary.
This page can tell you which apps you use on your Android device and when, which websites you visited using Google Chrome, every single thing you searched on Google and all the videos that you have watched with proper time and date tags. Even the music you listen to via Google Play Music, Google knows about that. It’s like a well maintained log of your online life and Google knows that. I am not one of those people who take online privacy that seriously, and Google is a company I tend to trust with my data. Hence I was never bothered whatever Google has on me.
But I’ll admit, listening to the things I said to the Google Assistant kind of gives me goosebumps. Yep, you can also find every voice command you ever issued to the Google Assistant or Google Now as short voice recordings.
Google also knows the places you visited and how long you stayed at the said place, when you returned, and not just the place but the specific restaurant you visited, the movie theater you were in or the hotel you probably checked in and even the photos you took.
Remember this is not Google spying on you so there is no reason to be scared or worry about it. You agree to this when you use services like Gmail, Drive, search, YouTube, and Google Maps for free. The money has to come from somewhere and Google uses all this data to provide relevant ads. Google also gives users the ability to delete anything from this page that they don’t wish to share with the company. Just press the three dot menu button and delete any activity you would like Google to not know about.
I appreciate that Google is as open about the information that they have on each one of us. Again, this can seem worrying to some and it may seem like Google knows more than it should but other companies like Microsoft and Apple probably know just as much and maybe more if you use their services. The only difference is Google is pretty open about it.
How do you feel about Google knowing so much? Would you like other companies to give users this kind of control over what they wish to share?