Personal data is the currency of the modern web. Social media platforms, search engines, e-commerce businesses and websites of just about any stripe – most collect your data to tailor the information they display to you or help advertisers target their messages. We may pay no direct fee for the often free-to-use conveniences offered by web services, but make no mistake: There is very big money in this data.
Perhaps no company has a deeper level of access to our personal data than Google. The Google search engine, which for many is a point of entry to the web, is a dominant force. Each time you use it to look up information, Google logs that information in your personal profile. Over time, your searches change the ads and information you see as you navigate the web.
It goes deeper still. Services and devices powered by Google – Google Home smart speakers, Chromebooks, smartphones using the Android operating system, the Chrome web browser, Gmail, Google Maps and more – track your data and use it to tailor your experience.
You may be surprised to know just how much Google knows about you. But if you want a better view of that information, you can use Google itself. Head to the Activity Controls section of your Google account, and you’ll start to get the picture.
To personalize your experience on the web and your devices, Google tracks information in the following categories:
- Web & App Activity: All of your activity on Chrome, Google Search and Google apps.
- Location History: Information on where you’ve been, largely gathered from mobile devices.
- Device Information: Data on devices you’ve connected to your Google account.
- Voice & Audio Activity: If you use Google Voice Assistant, the commands you give that application are stored in this area.
- YouTube Search History and Watch History: Everything you watch and search for on the YouTube platform personalizes your experience on the app and outside of it.
You do have some level of control about how your data is used across all these information types. However, in many cases, this doesn’t mean that Google will stop collecting information about you. But at the very least, if you know what information you’re supplying Google while using its services, you can be aware of where that data is going and to take the appropriate precautions.
Lunarline can’t stop Google from tracking personal data. However, if your organization is concerned about employees’ web hygiene, we can help you implement a plan to keep your information safe. Contact us today to learn about the products and services we provide.