What Data Does Google Have on You and How to Delete It?
One main reason for Google’s popularity among internet users is how it seems to know exactly what you need. Whether it’s the news or hotel recommendations, Google gives you what you want without fail. But, how? Through the data, it has on you, of course. Google collects information on its users- this is a known fact that makes everyone question the privacy of Google’s users. What data does Google have on you, though? And how can you delete it? Our team from Perth are here to give you the answers.
What does Google know about you?
Your Google account will have information that you willingly provided and some that Google collected without you realizing it. Do you want to see it? First, open a web browser. Then type in “myaccount.google.com”. To know all the personal information Google has on you, click on “Personal info” on the left pane. You’ll find your name, D.O.B, connected emails and phone numbers, the date you changed your password etc., here. If you want to dig deeper, click on the “Privacy & Personalization” tab.
How to delete the data Google has on you
The “Privacy & Personalization” section will have all the data Google has collected since you started using the account. The “History Settings” are divided into Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History. All your browsing history, Google searches, YouTube history, Google Assistant actions etc., are stored here. Location history will be displayed under the “Timeline” option. You can view the details of each of these sections by clicking and expanding them.
1. App Activity
This section covers your search history from when you signed into Google. If you open it, you can see the records of all the pages you’ve visited, the Google Docs that you opened, the apps you use on your Androids, and even the Google Assistant commands you have used. All the actions you do online after signing on a Google product will be logged here.
Click on “Saving activity” and turn off the “Web & App Activity” to pause the process of saving your online activity. For deleting all your activity records scroll down and click on “Delete”. You can delete all the saved information from the last hour, last day, a custom range or all time. There’s also an option to automatically delete data that are older than the time you specify. To do that, click on “Set up automatic deletions”.
2. YouTube History
YouTube History includes the YouTube videos you have watched, and your YouTube search queries. Like the other two sections, you can pause YouTube History and set up auto-delete commands here. Use the “Filter by date” option to view your YouTube activities. Using this option and the “Delete” option next to it, you can erase your watch and search history on YouTube. The “Delete activity by” option will also let you delete YouTube data by hour, day, a custom range, or all time.
3. Location History
As its name suggests, location history saves the details of your whereabouts over time. The data in this section is collected from all the devices you’re logged into where location tracking is enabled.
Similar to Web & App Activity, you have the option to “pause” location history. The auto-delete feature is available here as well. You can view all the saved location details by selecting “Manage Activity”. It’s possible to browse by month, by year, or by date. At the bottom, you’ll find a list of the places you’ve visited most often.
It’s possible to clear item by item or as a whole, depending on how you want to do it. To erase an individual entry:
- Select the date on the left pane.
- From the listed locations, tap the three dots next to the one you want to delete and select “Remove stop from day”. You can delete a day’s records by choosing the date and clicking on the trash can.
- If you want to delete all location history, select “All time” in the year list and pick the trash can symbol on the lower right side of the map.
- Check the box next to “I understand and want to delete all Location History” and choose “DELETE LOCATION HISTORY”.
Under “Data from apps and services you use”, you’ll get the information of all the apps and services which have access to your information. By going through the list and expanding each, you’ll be able to remove their access. You can also delete your Google account by scrolling down to more options and selecting “Delete your Google account”.
While seeing how much data Google has on you can be unsettling, there are many ways to restrict Google’s data slurping. You can sign out of Google in your Chrome browser, turn off location tracking on your Android device. You can also use the incognito mode while surfing. But when it comes to learning what data Google has on you and deleting them, your Google account page is the place to go. If you need more information on internet security or cybersecurity issues, contact us or email us at email@example.com.
Computing Australia is a member of The Computing Australia Group of Companies.
Android: Android is a mobile operating system by Google based on a modified version of Linux kernel.
Google Assistant: It is an android feature that offers voice commands, voice searching, and voice-activated device control.