What the Tech: Google activity

Local News

If you’re still worried about what Facebook knows about you, it’s nothing compared to Google. An investigation by The Daily Mail shows that Google actually collects and stores over 10-times the data than Facebook. Of course, it’s because most people’s lives are integrated with Google through Gmail, Google maps, Android phones,  Google Calendar and the other services it provides. It’s startling to see it all in one place.

You can see what Google knows about you by going to www.myaccount.google.com. Under the “my activity” tab you can see every website you’ve visited, every Google search, every YouTube video you’ve watched and everywhere you’ve ever gone (provided you use Google on your smartphone).

When I checked I found the data being stored about me dates back to  2009 when I likely started using Google for everything but search. I  saw that in April of 2017 I set an alarm for an afternoon nap using my  Android phone. I saw that in June of 2016 I searched for a how-to article on how to change a thermocouple on a furnace. Yep, I replaced one about that time. I also saw that in the summer of 2015 I  searched for home remedies for bruised ribs. I remember that pain from an injury playing volleyball.

On one day in February, Google recorded over 900 things I did online including alarms, GPS data, websites and searches.

I’m also able to see what Google thinks it knows about me from my web usage. It knows I like listening to punk rock and am interested in football, western movies and reading leadership journals. My mom doesn’t know that much about me. Neither does the C.I.A. I’m guessing.

Google says the information is gathered and stored to better place relevant advertisements on websites I visit when I’m online. The GPS  data is saved so that Google Maps can find and offer directions quickly.

That’s a lot more information than Facebook has gathered. Google encourages all of its users to visit www.myaccount.google.com and review the collected data. It can be deleted as well.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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