Inside genius Google ‘tracking system’ that can follow you FOREVER – even when you’re not on their apps
JUST like Google apps are expansive, ranging from maps to analytics – so is the tech giant’s personal data collection.
Some say Google’s elaborate ‘tracking system’ is genius, and others complain that it’s creepy.
Google products provide a wide range of apps and services that are used by billions of people every day.
So, it’s no surprise that Google collects data from the likes of YouTube, email, maps, Chrome and Android phones – all of which the company owns.
If you’re on an Android device, Google doesn’t even need to use Maps to track you.
And when you visit a website that uses Google Analytics, you grant Google access to your browsing history.
Google Analytics provides the people who run websites data on that site’s traffic and clicks.
Then there’s Global Site Tag, a Google-owned advert tracker.
If a website uses Global Site Tag, users also give Google access to their browsing history.
The data Google collects can tell the company a lot about who you are – as a consumer.
Be it your name, age, what you do, what interests you and what you respond to.
How do I limit what Google knows about me?
While it can be surprising to find out just how much Google knows about you, there are limitations you can put in place.
But the truth is, so long as you have technology in your life, Google’s knowledge of your personal data will never truly go away.
Users can easily amend app permissions in their iPhone, Android and Chrome browser settings.
Disabling Location History prevents Google from saving details of all the places you’ve visited and the routes you’ve travelled.
Turning off the Location option on your phone restricts Google Maps from accessing your whereabouts.
Switching off the Web and App Activity toggle will stop the company from saving all of your activities on any Google product or service.
If you’re curious about what exactly Google knows about you – you can actually check.
While downloading the data doesn’t delete it, it can be useful to see what Google knows.
- Go to http://takeout.google.com/settings/takeout
- Select the products that you want to back up.
- Click ‘Next’ at the bottom of the page.
- Choose the file format and your delivery method – you can get a link via email or have the archive sent to Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.
- Then tap “Create Archive.”
- Next, you wait. Google warns the archive may take hours or days to create.
- WTo make sure you haven’t missed anything, download all the data Google has on you since the first time you began using its services
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