In one of our previous posts, we talked about how easy it is to get caught in digital filter bubbles where information is purposefully withheld. One of the four tips was to find out what personal data is stored in your online accounts. This raises the specific question: What does Google know about me?
What does Google know about me? The Google Dashboard.
The Google Dashboard gives you a rough overview of all the services that are stored with your Google account. You can access it via the page www.google.com/dashboard. There you can find out several things:
- At the very top, there is a direct option to download all the data of the profile bundled.
- All Google services are listed. In addition to the saved personal information, profile settings for the individual services can also be changed there.
- The most prominent services, when used with the account, are Gmail, Google Drive, Google Maps or YouTube.
- The personal data can then also be downloaded again from the individual services.
What does Google know about me? The Google History.
If that is not enough, you can find all data with a timestamp in Google History, perfectly sorted by time. Depending on the privacy settings and the last deleted time, search histories, YouTube playlists or Google Maps tours of the last few years can be viewed here. Here is an excerpt of what can be found there:
- Browsing history (on Google Chrome)
- YouTube playback history
- A history of when which apps were open on Android and how long they were open.
- Voice recordings of the voice assistant, if it was used
- Google Maps timeline with the time and place you were at
Of course, that’s only a worst-case scenario if you have the privacy settings turned off in every Google app, own an Android phone, and use your Google account everywhere. It could also be the case that your Google history is filled rather sporadically since you did not agree to the data being shared. However, if you are a very “permissive” user, it would no longer be a difficult task to reconstruct your daily routine from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed.
What does Google know about me? A trade-off.
If you have read this post so far, you might think that it is highly questionable how much information Google has about you as a person. Should that make you think? Absolutely. Is it exclusively negative? Absolutely not.
Here is a comparison of what can happen with the data positive and negative:
|Personal Information||Positive benefit||Negative effect|
|YouTube History||YouTube’s algorithm suggests suitable videos from people you haven’t subscribed to yet.||The videos that are suggested to you support your opinion and your taste. You are in a filter bubble.|
|Google Maps History||You’re in a foreign city and you get a perfect restaurant recommendation based on your favorite places from your hometown.||Using the same data of your friends, it can be determined with whom you have met and how long you have been together.|
|Browser History in Google Chrome (decide for yourself whether you find this positive or negative)||You get perfectly tailored ads depending on the stores you like and visit often.||You get perfectly tailored ads depending on the stores you like and visit often.|
To be fair, it must also be mentioned that all Google services and their widespread use are also based to no small extent on the fact that all this data is or was available to them. Without this data, all Google services would not be as good as they undisputedly are today. However, no one outside of Google knows what else happens to this intimate data and to whom it is sold.
This is what you should take with you
- We have shown how you can answer the question: What does Google know about me?
- With some profiles and insufficient privacy settings, Google and other systems can easily create a detailed daily schedule.
- Nevertheless, we also benefit when the algorithms have a lot of personal information at their disposal and the service is improved as a result.
What is Jupyter Notebook?
Learn how to boost your productivity with Jupyter notebook! Discover tips, tricks, and best practices for data science and coding. Get started now.
What is ChatGPT?
Discover the power of ChatGPT - the cutting-edge language model trained by OpenAI. Learn how ChatGPT is changing the game in NLP.
What is a localhost (127.0.0.1)?
Learn about the benefits of using localhost for web development. Discover how to use it effectively in this comprehensive guide.
What is Business Intelligence?
Unlock insights and drive growth with Business Intelligence. Learn the benefits and best practices for effective data analysis.
What is OneDrive?
Access your files from anywhere with OneDrive. Securely store and share your photos, videos, and documents in the cloud. Get started today!
What does a DevOps Engineer do?
Maximize Efficiency: Learn About the Job Role of a DevOps Engineer and How They Streamline the Software Delivery Process.
What is Continuous Integration?
Optimize software development process with continuous integration. Automate builds, tests & deployments for efficient software delivery.
What is an Algorithm?
Discover the world of algorithms and their practical applications. Learn how algorithms impact daily life. Get started now.
What is DevOps?
Unlock the potential of DevOps to optimize software development and deployment. Improve collaboration, efficiency, and innovation. Learn more!
What does On-Premises mean?
Maximize control and security with on-premise solutions. Discover the benefits of hosting software and data locally. Explore on-premise options!
Other Articles on the Topic of what does Google know about me?
Here you can find detailed instructions from the Google documentation to view your personal data:
- Summary, of the data stored in Google.
- View information in the Google account.