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) or Android phone,the route you take to get there, when you arrive and what time you leave – . If you really look at everything that Google knows about you, the results can be shocking – perhaps even a little frightening. Fortunately there are a few things you can do about it.
Because a flood of data breaches and privacy violations continues to weaken public confidence in major technology companies, Google has responded by creating a privacy hub that allows you to access, delete, and limit the data that Google collects about you. However, navigating through all the different settings can be confusing and it is not always clear what you give Google permission for.
What is worse, when you make a change that would limit how much or how long Google follows you, Google warns that its services will not work so well without unrestricted access to your data. How true that is is not very clear.
Despite Google's efforts to increase transparency, recent disclosures that the search giant secretly shares users' private data with external advertisers have public confidence in the company, of which Google Home (
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) andlines of smart speakers try to place microphones and cameras in the most private settings – your home.
We go all the way and show you how you can access the private data that Google has about you, and how you can delete it in whole or in part. We will then help you find the right balance between your privacy and the Google services you rely on by choosing settings that limit Google's access to your information without harming your experience.
Discover what private information Google is as & # 39; public & # 39; regards
There is a good chance that Google has your name, a picture of your face, your date of birth, gender, other email addresses that you use, your password and telephone number. Part of this is listed as public information (not your password of course). You can see what Google shares with you in the world as follows.
1. Open a browser window and go to your Google account page.
2. Enter your Google username (with or without "@ gmail.com").
3. Choose Personal info in the menu bar and view the information. You can change or delete your photo, name, date of birth, gender, password, other e-mails and telephone number.
4. If you want to see what information of yours is publicly available, scroll down and select Go to About me .
5. You can then go back and make changes. There is currently no way to make your account private.
View the Google record of your online activity
If you want to see the mother lead of the data that Google has about you, follow these steps to find, view, delete or set it up automatically to remove after a period.
If you want to have more control over your data, but you still want Google services such as search and maps to personalize your results, we recommend that you set your data to auto deletion after three months. Otherwise, you can delete all your data and set Google to stop following you. For most of the daily things you do with Google, you won't even notice the difference.
1. Log in to your Google account and choose Data and personalization in the navigation bar.
2. For a list of all your activities that Google has recorded, go to Activity Control and select Web and app activity .
3. If you want Google to stop following your searches on the web and images, browsing history, map search and route descriptions and interactions with Google Assistant, clear both check boxes. Otherwise, continue with step 4.
4. Then click Manage activity . This page displays all the information that Google has collected about you about the activities mentioned in the previous step, all the way back to the day you created your account.
5. If you want to set Google to automatically delete this type of data every three or every 18 months, select To delete automatically choose and choose the timeframe where you feel most comfortable with. Google deletes all current data that is older than the time you specify, for example, if you choose three months, all information that is older than three months is immediately deleted.
6. If you prefer to delete part of all your activity history manually, choose Delete activity by and choose Last hour Last day All times or Custom range .
7. After you have chosen an autodelete setting or manually selected which data you want to delete, a pop-up appears asking you to confirm. Select Delete or Confirm.
Return to Manage activity (step 4) and make sure what is there (if you are sure that your new settings have been made). you have removed everything there should be nothing) only goes back the three or 18 months you selected in step 5.
Accessing Google's data on your location history
Perhaps even more offputting than Google knowing what recipes you are cooking, what vacation it looks like you are planning or how often you check the Powerball numbers, the precision of Google & # 39; s capturing your whereabouts can be downright cool even if you never do something that you shouldn't do. Just the fact that if you're signed in to Google Maps on a mobile device, the eyes of Google to monitor your movements is about enough to make you want to leave your phone at home. Fortunately that is not necessary. You can access, manage and delete your Google location data as follows:
1. Log in to your Google account and select Data and personalization in the navigation bar.
2. For a list of all your location data that Google has recorded, go to Activity Control and select Location History .
3. If you want Google to stop following your location, turn off the switch on this page.
4. Then click Manage activity . This page shows all the location information that Google has collected about you as a timeline and a map, including places you have visited, the route you have taken there and back, as well as frequency and dates of visits.
5. To permanently delete all location history, click the trash can icon and choose Delete location history when prompted.
6. To set up Google to automatically delete this type of data every three or every 18 months, select the gear icon and choose Delete location history automatically and choose the time frame that you feel most comfortable with. Google deletes all current data that is older than the specified period. For example, if you choose three months, all information older than three months will be deleted immediately.
To ensure that your location data is really gone, start again with Activity Controls in step 2 and then after Manage activity in step 4, make sure the timeline is in the top left corner is empty and there are no points on the map that indicate your previous locations.
5. To set Google to automatically delete your YouTube date every three or every 18 months, select To delete automatically, choose and choose the time frame which you feel most comfortable with.
6. To delete part of all your activity history, choose Delete activity by in the navigation bar and select Last hour Last day All time or Custom range .
7. As soon as you choose which data you want to delete, a pop-up appears asking you to confirm. Select Delete .
To ensure that your YouTube data is really gone, start again with Activity Controls in step 2 and then after Manage activity in step 4 make sure what also (if you have deleted everything, there should be nothing) only goes back the three or 18 months you selected in step 5. o0fgrgk48dAdpkafXzoohRyvn0E = / 2019/04/10 / 6b7d5dce-bcc2-4a40-8f12-d48dd7416d51 / gmail1.jpg “/>
Google is determined that nobody at the company will read your Gmail unless you ask them to Google, except Google continues to scan email from Gmail users for purchase information.
Derek Poore / CNET
Another important thing about your privacy
Be warned, just because you have set up Google not to keep track of your online or offline activities does not necessarily mean that you have completely closed your data to Google. Google has admitted that it can track your physical location even if you disable location services using information collected via Wi-Fi and other wireless signals near your phone. Just as Facebook has been guilty of Google for years, Google does not even have to have registered you to follow you.
And not to mention, there sometimes seem to be inconsistencies between Google's statements on privacy issues. For example, Google recently admitted thatdespite a public statement in a 2018 press release: "Just to be clear: no one at Google reads your Gmail , except in very specific cases where you ask or give us permission, or where it is necessary for security purposes, such as investigating a bug or abuse. "Maybe Google meant & # 39; nobody & # 39; & # 39; no human & # 39; but in an age of increasingly powerful AI, such a & # 39; n distinction is practically unclear.
The point is that it is ultimately up to you to protect yourself against invasive data practices. Theseas well as perform some other privacy-related tasks. If you have smart Google Home speakers in your home, . An American senator has proposed a bill for invasion of privacy. California is already one step ahead, after it has already adopted . The law is effective from January 1, 2020.
Originally published last year.
Correction, January 31 : This story originally indicated that there was no way to tell Google that it should automatically delete location history data after a certain time frame, but that is not the case. We have added a step to that section to explain how you can do that.