How to discover what Google knows about you

How to discover what Google knows about you

Google has created a reputation with a double-edge sword in recent years. On the one hand, it's a giant web of quality technical services; on the other hand it suffers from criticism about how it uses private data to make money. To be more transparent about its practices, Google created the service 'My Business' to provide a quick overview of what Google knows about us.

Behind the technological miracle lurks the demon of private data

The least we can say is that Google's reputation leaves a lot to be desired on the subject of personal data. It's obvious that a company of its size is looking to make a profit, and as many Google products are (mostly) free, revenue has to come from somewhere else.

Google's strategy is focused on using accumulated user information in order to serve targeted ads, as Facebook and many internet businesses also do to monetize their platforms. In other words, the more Google knows about you, the more you will see things that will probably interest you. While most users understand that Google needs to make money to function as a company, they have the opinion that Google is interested in their actions to collect private information.

Here is what My Activity looks like. / © ANDROIDPIT

The tool 'My activity' was created for transparency

You've probably heard the slogan, "There is no bad publicity." The negative opinions of Google are like the submerged part of the iceberg because, like it or not, users do not see what is hidden beneath the murky waters of the tech giant. In order to offer targeted advertising, Google is interested in our habits to see what might interest us.

Anyway, Google seems to be tired of hearing that it steals private information and exploits it for profit. Google wants to improve its image by giving users the ability to see everything it knows and allow them to customize it. By logging on to My Activity page using your Google credentials, you will see a timeline of what Google has accumulated about you. You will find, among other things, whatever you've typed into the search engine or YouTube.

AndroidPIT Google apps 2
It's free, it's convenient, but optimized for commercials. © ANDROIDPIT

This tool does not just display the history of all you can do with Google on the web, you also find a list of apps used if your account is associated with your smartphone. In my case, I was able to find the date and time I used WhatsApp, Instagram etc. I assume Nexus and Pixel devices probably show more results here. Anyway, we will soon know more because Google seems to want to optimize this tool.

Google can optimize its targeted advertising by giving you the ability to manage or delete the data yourself. You can disable the collection of information on your web activities and applications, but this doesn't mean that Google will not record anything on your account (as you can see on 'My Business'). If you want more information, you can go to the Google Support page.

Do you think this tool is a smokescreen? Does Google really want to achieve greater transparency, or is this just to silence negative rumors?

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Readers' favorite comments

  •   46
    Deactivated Account Jul 8, 2016

    Privacy today is an illusion, unless you work very hard to stay off the radar. If you have a smart phone and use social media you have no privacy.


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  • yes all this technologies created for discover about human
    not for human

    Deactivated Account

  • Interesting stuff

  • Stalkers

  • I learned something new reading this article. And that was how to view what data Google collects from me. Mind you I'm all in with Google ever since I started using Gmail after I was given an invite. Currently I use iOS devices and have the Google app, Gmail, Google drive, docs, sheets, slides, Google maps, Google Keep, and Google photos. Oh and I use translate and Gboard, so yeah it's no surprise that Google is mining everything I do. But what do I get out of it, better info from my searches, better predictions when I'm typing, so I'm at least getting something in return. Let's just call it a win-win. But no matter where you go someone is keeping track of us, whether it's GPS in a rental car, your using your credit cards somewhere, or CCTV. Yes we're being watched whether IRL or online. So what's the big deal if you're not doing anything you wouldn't mind showing to your mother. Just saying. And I still use my droid incredible, which was my first true smartphone that I wish worked without random crashing.

    Deactivated AccountDeactivated Account

  • privacy is just an illusion created by tech giants.....common man like me have nothing secret in my smartphones so privacy is not a big deal......but if u r barack obama thn u need privacy.......privcy doest nt affect common man

  • If you don't want your data being used don't sign up to Google/Android.
    Personally I know Google needs this data to create income in order to provide a excellent free service (Google Photos/Drive/Maps/Search/Translate/Play Store.....).
    I turn all data collection services on as this provides a better seamless integration of there services. (which could and should be better).

    People can argue that our data is precious and should be guarded from Google and other service providers, again you have a choice not to engage with any of the Google services or any Smart services.

    I bet those who are against Google data collection practice would be equally upset should Google start to charge for its suit of excellent services...

    I say embrace Google, really it just wants to be your know-it-all friend.

    Peace ✌

    Deactivated AccountDeactivated AccountDean L.

  •   46
    Deactivated Account Jul 8, 2016 Link to comment

    Privacy today is an illusion, unless you work very hard to stay off the radar. If you have a smart phone and use social media you have no privacy.

  • The NSA and your Internet Service Provider already monitor what you are doing (and Cox Cable does for their wifi broadband), so there is no point over Google knowing what you are doing, too ...

    Until the FCC decides in favor of consumer privacy? We are screwed and we are forced to utilize whatever we can to gain privacy back into our lives (beyond normal encryption) ...

  • It's a smokescreen of sorts. Like it or not, but we're always being watched in our current modern age. Privacy is a thing of the past.

  • good info:)

  • steve Jul 7, 2016 Link to comment

    It'll have to come in at full pace or another messager app flop.

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