No one can go wrong with this: Google has a lot of data about you. Maybe the right question would be: What does Google not know about us?
Just to name a few, here’s what Google knows about the average person:
Age and gender
Individual preferences and habits
Favorite hangout joints, food or even sex inclinations
It’s entirely impossible to know all that Google knows about us because of some form of secrecy that they may have though a lot of information Google has is retrievable.There are different ways Google can dig deeper into each user and even find skeletons in your closet.
Most people already know this and isn’t really much of a deal. Google stores all your internet activities and browser history and people are aware of this. How well are Google’s online tracking activates?
Using search engines: And you need to understand this, every letter you type into the search box is saved. For instance you were keying in “b-u-t-t-e-r-f-l-y” but didn’t hit the search icon, it is automatically saved since that is also what the company thinks you intend to find. Initially you are just like a ghost within the database, no name or anything but just your IP address. By using the IP address and focusing on which areas you go to mostly, Google and cross reference and find your name, telephone number and home address without breaking a sweat.
Email: Google scans emails that are sent back and forth between the sender and receiver even if they come from Yahoo and Hotmail. And whether you feel deleting old mails from your account, it adds to nothing. Google will still retain its copy of your email – even the drafts which were never sent.
Browsers i.e. Chrome, Firefox, Safari; why would Google have its own browser in a market already dominated with browsers? Competition? Nay, in order to spy on you easier. But how would it be possible to use browsers not owned by Google such as Firefox or Safari? Simple. Both browsers first check into Google’s database of blacklisted sites before handing your results. There is no law that permits Google to have such a list but it exists nevertheless.
Every voice search
Almost every smartphone or voice enabled devices record all things you say through the device microphone. People who use Google Now, a voice activated search assistant, have their data stored so that the adverts displayed on their devices are only relevant to them. This is also similar to storage of browser history as well. It’s intriguing that many people have no idea that their voice data is recorded and stored without their consent. However, it is also possible to know all that has been recorded and choose either to delete all of it or not.
Google also keeps tabs on where you went and at what time. This information is available through Google’s location history or timeline page, which will allow you to key in specific dates or time and give you a nearly accurate location of where you were then. However, accuracy depends on whether you already were logged into your Google account at the time, or were using a tablet or phone. We all know of the pre-installed navigation app. With it, linking some third-party apps with it generates even more precise user data.
User specified advertisments
An ingenious way of knowing how much information Google has about you is by analysis of the ads you receive. If you’re interested, head to Google ad settings and you shall find a profile made about you based on your search history and interests. Interestingly, it may have your age, gender, and deeper insight to the things you are in to. It’s easier to turn off ad monitoring by disabling personalization, which will consequently result in less adverts. There are more than two million sites worldwide and things get less creepy if you limit them.
Google has its own operating system which is the powerhouse behind most smartphones. It will capture and send all your data regardless of whether you’re online or offline.
Where do you think you will find yourself in the Google database?
Is Google right to keep track of your online activities?