Google collects tons of information about you. No duh. It uses the data it collects to improve the way it delivers information to you, mainly ads and services. Google also uses the data to improve your daily life; it uses data to report local weather, where you last parked, traffic on your commute home, scores from your favorite sports teams, relevant news, where the cheapest gas is, and a whole host of other things custom to you.
Personally I don’t mind that Google collects my information mainly because it really does help me. I love checking my Google Now cards to see the current weather, stock prices, and relevant news of stuff I am interested in. Plus I don’t really have anything to hide so I don’t see it as a big deal.
However there are many people who may not know what Google does with the information and want Google to stop. For those of you in that category, all you have to do is click through the information listed below which is provided by Google.
It’s worth going through all of this information so you can understand why Google does what it does with your data. It’s better to be informed, even if you don’t mind what Google collects, rather than just leaving things to ignorance or thinking Google is malicious and is out to get you.
Check out the information listed below:
Here’s exactly what information Google collects:
Things you do
When you use Google services — for example, do a search on Google, get directions on Google Maps, or watch a video on YouTube — Google collects data to make these services work for you. This can include:
- Things you search for
- Websites you visit
- Videos you watch
- Ads you click on or tap
- Your location
- Device information
- IP address and cookie data
Things you create
If you are signed in with your Google Account, it stores and protects what you create using its services. This can include:
- Emails you send and receive on Gmail
- Contacts you add
- Calendar events
- Photos and videos you upload
- Docs, Sheets, and Slides on Drive
Things that make you “you”
When you sign up for a Google account, it keeps the basic information that you give to Google. This can include your:
- Email address and password
- Phone number
Here is how to manage your privacy:
Manage your privacy settings with the Privacy Checkup
In just a few minutes, you can manage the types of data Google collects, update what personal information you share with friends or make public, and adjust the types of ads you would like Google to show you. You can change these settings as often as you want.
Secure your account with the Security Checkup
The first thing you can do to protect your Google Account is take the Security Checkup. Google built it to help you verify that your recovery information is up to date and that the websites, apps, and devices connected to your account are ones you still use and trust. If anything looks suspicious, you can change your settings or password immediately. The Security Checkup takes just a few minutes, and you can take it as often as you like.
Decide what data is associated with your account
From better commute options in Maps to quicker results in Search, the data it saves with your account can make Google services more useful to you. Using Activity Controls, you can decide what gets associated with your account and pause the collection of specific types of data — like your searches and browsing activity, the places you go, and information from your devices.
Control ads based on your preferences
In your Ads Settings, you can control ads based on what topics you are interested in. For example, if you use the Ads Personalization settings to tell Google that you like pop music, you might see ads for upcoming releases and shows near you when you are signed in to YouTube.
If you turn off Ads Personalization while you are signed in, it will stop showing you ads related to your interests across Google services as well as websites and apps that partner with Google. If you are signed out, turning off Ads Personalization affects only Google services where ads are shown.
See what data is in your account at My Activity
My Activity is the central place where you can find things you have searched, viewed, and watched using our services. To make it easier to recall your past online activity, Google gives you tools to search by topic, date, and product. You can permanently delete specific activities or even entire topics that you don’t want associated with your account.
Review your basic account information
Control what personal information you share on Google services — like your name, email address, and phone number.
Take your content anywhere with Download Your Data
Your photos. Your emails. Your contacts. Even your bookmarks. You are in control of the content stored in your Google Account. That is why Google created Download Your Data — so you can make a copy, back it up, or even move it to another service.