What Does Google Know About YOU ?

We all know what Google is and if you’re in the UK, there’s a very high chance you use it as your search engine of choice. You know it provides quite decent search results (which is why you use it) and you also probably know it’s a large profitable American company. So, that’s what you know about Google, but what does Google know about YOU?

If you don’t have a Google account then Google will still have collected a lot of information about you (in the form of browser cookies) but this information will be anonymous – Google will not be able to link it to you specifically. Most of us however do have a Google account, and for those of you who try and steer clear of Google by not having a Gmail account, think again, Google own YouTube, Android and Google Docs, so if you’ve logged into an Android device, used Google Docs for work or logged into YouTube, you’ll have a Google account.

Your Entire Search History… Remembered

Google has been collecting data ever since it was created, and it’s been recording everything you ever searched for. You can view your entire search history by logging into your Google account and going to https://www.google.com/history/. Perhaps you want your YouTube search history too? No problem, go to https://www.youtube.com/feed/history/search_history and take a look.

Where You’ve Been… Remembered

You know that option on your smartphone called something like ‘Enable Location Services’ that comes in dead handy when you’re driving to somewhere you’ve never been before? enabling this service also means that your location is being recorded. Don’t believe it? Revisit where you’ve been here: https://maps.google.com/locationhistory/.

Who Google Think You Are

Your online behaviour gives Google a good idea about who you are and this data is used to make various assumptions about your character. Google sell advertising that we are exposed to, and this advertising is tailored to specifically fit what Google believes to be your ideal demographic. Go to http://www.google.com/settings/ads/ to view what Google thinks it knows about you. Scroll down the page and you’ll come to interests, expand and that’s what Google thinks your hobbies and interests are.

Opting Out

So you don’t want Google knowing as much as it can about you? Well there’s a ‘sort-of’ opt out here: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout, I say sort of, click the link and you’ll see it’s not that straightforward.