Does Google collect your data and breach my privacy?
Yes, Google collects your data on how you use its devices,
services and apps – perhaps more than you realise. The tech giant keeps tabs on
your search and browsing behaviour, online purchases, Gmail activity and
YouTube habits, to name a few. Google even logs your location, and everywhere
you go, down to the street you were walking on, which shop you visited and how
long you stayed at a place.
However, with your consent only so the tech giant is not in
breach of your privacy.
Why Google needs my data? What is the simple science behind it?
Google says they obtain and use this personal data to provide
meaningful search results, which enhance your search experience.
Here are the two fundamental reasons Google is after your data. For Ad Campaigns
From the data that Google has gathered on your activity
across its platforms, services, products and devices, they can build a detailed
advertising profile. This includes information on your gender, age range, job
industry and interests – allowing targeted advertising through Google ads that
aim to align with your profile.
To track your location
Google is likely tracking your location as you’re reading
this. You don’t have to be using Google Maps or any Google services to have
this information gathered and stored – the company knows your place of work,
your favourite coffee shop, your morning train commute and what time you
arrived back home. If you’re looking for local parks, takeaway stores or cafes,
Google will use your location to offer personalised suggestions. If you are looking
for a nearby pizza takeaway, Google will suggest ads on pizza and nearby pizza
takeaways. Your location gives essential information to the tech giant so that
their services can be more relevant.
To enhance their search algorithm
Google is upgrading its search algorithm multiple times in a
year, thereby ensuring its users’ highest search experience. In 2019, Google did
3500 plus search upgrades which include core and secondary updates both.
Maintaining search results relevancy is the topmost priority
Engineers enhance algorithm which determines the relevance
of any given website in search results based on 200+ factors, as Google Claims.
Google says on data privacy, and we
collect data to make our services more useful for you.
How can I recognise Google is sharing my data?
Have you noticed the new trainers you were looking at while
online shopping the week before now suddenly pop up in ads when you’re browsing
through different websites? Or perhaps, you recently searched for a particular
brand of trainers, and now you’re getting ads from that brand asking to
download their online shopping app. This is an example of how Google uses data
to establish patterns and correlations in your internet usage and behaviour.
Google will allow you to control what data they use through
your Ad Settings – you can view your advertising profile, learn about what
information they collect and turn off specific interests or disable
personalised ads altogether. If you
choose to disable personalised ads, Google will still be able to show ads and
collect data, but future ads would not be based on your Google activity. You
also can install an ad blocker in your browser, which helps to cut down the
intrusive ads and pop-ups you see whilst accessing the internet.
How much of my information I am sharing with Google knowingly or unknowingly
We all know Google is tracking us, although the amount of
data Google collects will leave you anxious.
Which language you speak
Where you are going and the places you have visited during your journey
Google voice assistant is a powerful tool that passes your voice search queries to Google.
All data & content you are looking for in Google sites say Google News, Blogger, shopping
Contents of your Google Drive
Your emails, their attachments, including everything you mark as spam or delete.
The videos you are watching on YouTube, its search history, along with the comments you are making, even your time spent on any given video, whether you like or dislike its content
All your schedule through Google calendar
Apps you like if you and use if you are using Android
Google is already keeping your relevant business info if you have enrolled in Google My Business.
With Google Retail, the tech giant already knows the products you are selling.
Google even knows about our children’s details and habits if you are using Google classroom, docs, forms, slides.
Google also knows your browsing habits, the sites you like, favourites, and much more through Chrome
Google knows where you are flying and when through Google flights.
You love photos, so Google as well, and they know about your family using Google photos.
Google knows which cartoon your kids love, Google YouTube Kids.
And much more, the categories mentioned are just a few of the mighty products Google have developed
Which personal information Google store?
Google stores your name, age, gender, sex, occupation, where
you live & work, what is your exact location; Google is now deep-rooted in
your personal lives from one way or the other; they know much more than you can
How Google acquire my data?
As discussed above, there are multiple resources through
which Google acquires our data, search, Android, maps, assistant, YouTube, sheets,
forms, chat, browser, meet, earth, calendar, analytics, pay per click, AdSense,
and the list goes on.
However, the search results profile plays a significant
Google uses technology like IP address tracking, a technique
to help identify your exact location.
you browse any website to keep track of the stats related to your browsing.
E.g. the Google Analytics cookie keeps a complete tracking
of your browsing history of any particular website. And later helps you analyse
data using the tool.
. By storing this content in a cookie, the server you
connect to can read the data and serve personalised content based on your web
browsing experience. This method also allows the tracking of web analytics and helps
build targeted ads that you might connect with -cookies can store a lot of
information about you.
However, you can clear browser cookies and block ads as well;
not only that, cookies can be disabled entirely to stop tracking.
Am I being watched by Google?
Yes, if you are using Google & products made by them,
basically they are free, and Google provides you at no cost, however with a no-obligation
agreement to share your valuable data.
I want to delete & protect my data from Google?
Yes, you can; some Google products allow complete deletion,
some partial, e.g. Google Chrome in which you can delete the entire browsing
history wiping all of your data, turned off tracking cookies to stop following
Other products like Google android, the drive may require
personalising data as essential that you cannot delete, say your name, email,
location, language, passwords, etc.
It depends as in some products, and you can completely
delete data and subscription, e.g. Google My Business. However, some allow
partial removal, and Google keeps essential information like Google Flights, Android,
Hyder Ali Khan has worked in the digital marketing industry for the past ten years, with the majority of that time spent in the role of Operations Director & head of digital assets creation & marketing at Pacific Infotech…Read more