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Home / Tips and Tricks / What Google knows about you can be a shock. To manage or delete your activity

What Google knows about you can be a shock. To manage or delete your activity



  Tal Oppenheimer, a Chrome product manager, described changes to Chrome privacy at the Google I / O Show.

Tal Oppenheimer, a Chrome product manager, described new privacy features on Google I / O earlier this year.


Google / Screenshot by Stephen Shankland / CNET

Google collects an amazing amount of information about you – maybe more than you think. Google remembers every search you make, and every YouTube video you watch . Whether you have an iPhone ($ 699 on Amazon) or an Android phone, Google Maps logs wherever you go which route you take to get there when You arrive and when you leave – – even if you never open the app . If you really look at everything Google knows about you, the results can be shocking – maybe even a little scary. Luckily, there are a few things you can do.

As public reliance on major technology companies continues to weaken due to data leakage and data breaches, Google has set up a privacy hub that allows you to access and delete data and limit the information that Google provides about you collects. However, navigating the various settings can be confusing, and it's not always clear what you give Google permission to do.

What's worse, if you make a change that limits how much or how long Google logs you, Google warns that its services will not work so well without unrestricted access to your data. How true that is is not clear.

  google-pixel-4-event-nyc-10-15-19-cnet-095 "data-original =" https://cnet3.cbsistatic.com/img/NmeDHD36wdRciLLyejy1Frq5QT8 = / 2019/10/15 / e2cb84ba -c182-4008-A284-fcf98e243b64 / google-pixel-4-event-nyc-10-15-19-CNET-095.jpg [19659008₱google-pixelevent-nyc-10-15-19-CNET-095[19659008] Google's Rick Osterloh discusses privacy at the corporate event in New York earlier this month. </p>
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Sarah Tew / CNET

Despite Google's efforts to increase transparency, recent revelations that the search giant is disclosing users' private information secretly to third parties have cast doubt on public confidence in the company's Google homepage ($ 99 at Walmart) and Google Nest lines of smart speakers are trying to accommodate microphones and cameras in the most private environment – at home.

We'll cut all the clutter and show you how to access the private data that Google has about you and delete some or all of your data. Then we'll help you find the right balance between your privacy and the Google services you rely on by selecting settings that restrict Google's access to your information without compromising your experience.

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Find out which private information Google classifies as "public."

Google may have your name, a photograph of your face, your birthday, your gender, other email addresses you use, your password, and your phone number. Part of it will be listed as public information (of course not your password). So you can see what Google shares with the world about you.

1. Open a browser window and navigate to your Google Account page.

2. Enter your Google username (with or without "@ gmail.com").

3. Select Personal Information in the menu bar and check the information. You can change or delete your photo, name, birthday, gender, password, other emails, and your phone number.

4. If you would like to see what information you have publicly available, scroll down and select Go to About me .

5. You can then resign and make changes. There is currently no way to mark your account as private.

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Google has adapted its Privacy Control Dashboard for mobile devices and desktops.


Google

View the records of your online activity on Google.

If you want to see the mother mode of data collected by Google, follow these steps to find, verify, delete, or delete it automatically after a period of time.

If you want more control over your data, but you still want Google services like Search and Maps to personalize your results, we recommend that you set the automatic deletion of your data after three months. Otherwise, you can delete all of your information and set Google to stop tracking you. For most everyday tasks you do with Google, you will not even notice the difference.

1. Sign in to your Google Account and select Data & Personalization in the navigation bar.

2. Scroll to Activity Controls and select Web and App Activity to see a list of all Google-logged activities.

3. Clear both check boxes if you want Google to stop tracking your web and image searches, browsing history, map searches and directions, and interactions with Google Assistant. Otherwise, go to step 4.

4. Then click Manage Activity . This page displays all the information that Google collected about you from the activities listed in the previous step until the day you created your account.

5. To stop Google from automatically deleting this type of data every three or every 18 months, select Select to automatically delete and select the period in which you feel most comfortable. Google will delete any recent data that is older than the time period you specify. If you select three months, all information older than three months will be deleted immediately.

6. If you prefer to manually delete a portion of your entire activity history, select Delete Activity by in the navigation bar and select either Last Hour Last Day Anytime or Custom Area .

7. Once you have selected an auto-delete setting or manually selected which data to delete, a pop-up window will appear asking you for confirmation. Select Delete or Confirm.

To make sure your new settings have been applied, return to Manage Activity (step 4) and make sure whatever exists (if any) you've deleted everything there should be nothing.) Go back only the three or 18 months you selected in step 5.

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Access the Google record of your location history.

Unlike Web and App Activity there is no setting to automatically delete location data after a certain interval. Location data is an all-or-nothing offer: Google either logs your location information and you need to manually delete it, or you stop using Google Maps. There is a third way to use Google Maps in incognito mode. This will prevent search queries or routes from appearing in your Google Account location history while they're on. Learn how to view and delete your location history.

1. Sign in to your Google Account and select Data & Personalization in the navigation bar.

2. To see a list of all location data Google recorded, navigate to Activity Control and select Location History .

3. If you want Google to stop tracking your location, clear the check box on this page.

4. Then click Manage Activity . This page displays all the location information that Google has collected about you as a timeline and on a map, including the places you've visited, the route you've taken there and back, and the frequency and date of the visits.

5. To permanently delete the entire Location History, click the trash can icon and select Delete Location History when prompted.

To make sure your location data is really gone, start again with Activity Control . After Manage Activity in sentence 4, make sure the timeline in the upper left corner is blank and there are no dots on the map that indicate your previous locations.

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Angela Lang / CNET

Manage your YouTube search and watch history.

Of all the personal data that Google collects, your YouTube search and watch history is probably the most innocent. Not only giving Google the ability to track your YouTube history may have the most obvious benefit of all – YouTube can find out what kind of videos you like, so you get more content that you like.

Get an overview of your YouTube history and delete it manually, if necessary, every three or eighteen months. As with Web & App Activity we recommend that you set YouTube to delete your data every three months. That's just enough to update YouTube's recommendations, but it does not leave behind years of personal data.

1. Sign in to your Google Account and select Data & Personalization in the navigation bar.

2. Scroll to Activity Control and select YouTube History to see a list of all Google-recorded location data.

3. If you do not want Google to stop tracking your YouTube search and history, uncheck the box on this page.

4. Then click Manage Activity . Here's a list of all the searches you've ever done and all the videos you've ever seen.

5. To set up Google to automatically erase your YouTube date every three or every 18 months, select Select to automatically erase the date, with which you feel most comfortable.

6. To delete a portion of your entire activity history, select Delete activity after in the navigation bar and select either Last hour Last day [19659037] All times or Custom Range .

7. Once you have selected the data you want to delete, a pop-up window will appear asking you to confirm. Select Delete .

To make sure your YouTube data is really gone, start with Activity Control in Step 2, and then after Manage Activity in Step 4 Sure, whatever is there ( if you have deleted everything, there should be nothing), only the three or 18 months you selected in step 5 go back.

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One more important thing about your privacy

Be forewarned, just because you're setting Google to not track your online or offline activity does not necessarily mean that you've completely blocked your data for Google , Google has admitted that it can track your physical location, even if you disable the location services using information from the wireless network and other wireless signals near your phone. Just as Facebook has been guilty for years, Google does not even need to be signed in to track you.

Not to mention that there are sometimes contradictions between Google's privacy statements. For example, Google recently admitted that it scanned your Gmail messages to make a list of your purchases even though it was publicly stated in a 2018 press release, "To be perfectly clear: Nobody reads on Google Your Gmail, except in specific cases where you ask and give us your consent, or where we need to do so for security purposes, such as to investigate a mistake or misuse. "By" nobody, "Google meant perhaps "not human", but in times of an ever more powerful AI, such a distinction is practically controversial.

It is ultimately up to you to protect yourself from invasive data practices. With these 8 smartphone apps you can manage your passwords and hide your browser data as well as perform some other duties related to privacy. If you have Google Home smart speakers in your home, learn how to manage your privacy with Google Assistant . A US senator has proposed a bill criminalizing the executives of technology companies such as Mark Zuckerberg for data breaches . California is already one step ahead after passing legislation giving users more control over their private data . The law will enter into force on 1 January 2020.

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Originally published last month.


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