It’s no secret that Google collects user data, and although this impacts the majority of us: most of us aren’t aware of exactly how much data is being gathered. After all, how many of us are aware that our voice commands via Android or even the Iphone’s Siri are recorded and kept on file?
These 4 pictures show how Google is tracking you, and what you can do about it.
1. Google sees your web and app activity
Your web and app activity, which includes things like your search history and location data and activity in maps, are turned on by default on both iPhone and Android devices because they are tied to your Google account.
Here you can turn searches and browsing activity on and off. To see the information Google is collecting, click “Manage my activity.” Here you can view your searching and surfing habits, see what device you were on when you visited certain sites, and select activity to superficially delete.
If you want to delete all of your activity, click on the menu symbol, select “delete” then select “advanced” then choose “all time.” Of course, this doesn’t mean a digital record doesn’t still exist somewhere.
2. Information is getting stored about where you go
Similar to your web activity, location data is being stored whenever you do pretty much anything, anywhere, involving Google.
You can see if you are sharing this info under “Activity controls” and view exact locations that are stored for you by clicking “Manage Activity.”
3. Your Youtube activity is monitored, even if you aren’t logged in
You can superficially remove your and alter your search and viewing data, but it has been reported (but not confirmed) that Google collects search and viewing behavior not exclusively using user accounts, but also the computer (via its IP number).
4. Your voiceprint is being recorded
Google keeps a recording of voice and audio activity used for voice searches and commands. But only if a user has opted in to use the feature, as it is turned off by default. Using it on an Android phone, though, is as simple as clicking the microphone on the Google search bar.You can listen to all of your old commands or voice searches by selecting “Manage Activity”under “Activity Controls.”
Whether this data is being fed into the storage of millions of voiceprints by the NSA, is a question I cannot answer.