Just like Santa Claus, Google knows if you have been naughty or nice. The reality is that Google knows a lot of things about a lot of people.
They know the things people search for, the web sites that they visit and how long they stay on those sites. They know about people’s health problems, shopping habits, physical locations, family members and friends. It is also likely that Google knows your age and gender as well as your political and religious beliefs.
In fact, it is hard to avoid Google for any person who has any online life at all. With tech services like Google search, YouTube, the Chrome web browser and Android mobile operating system, Google is a part of almost everyone’s internet life. This enables Google to collect virtual troves of personal data on people.
But, have you ever wanted to know exactly how much information Google has in their digital dossier file on you? Well, now you can find out.
Google is now offering users a “My Activity” tool, which shows people how much personal information the search engine giant has collected on them. The My Activity feature can be found in your Google services account.
The My Activity option reportedly shows people everything that Google knows about them from their online activities and gives users the option to delete any or all of the information from Google’s servers.
Google’s My Activity feature lets people opt-in or out of Google’s targeted advertising system. The feature lets people see exactly what Google’s ad tracking system has collected about their online activities, and gives people the option to delete pieces of information or entire categories from their account. The My Activity setting also lets people opt-out of Googles’ targeted ads entirely or choose to be shown more personalized ads that are more relevant to your own personal interests.
My Activity also has sections that show people the physical locations, devices and other details that Google has collected and saved on them.
When people activate the My Activity setting for “ads based on your interests,” they will see targeted ads that are based on the personal data that Google has collected on them. Users are also able to block specific ads or entire advertising categories that they do not want to see. Although activating this option gives you more control over the personal information that Google collects on you, it also allows Google to collect even more information to profile you with.
Without ad-blocking software, you still can’t turn off Google ads completely. Even if you disable “ads based on your interests,” you will still see Google ads online – they just won’t be as targeted.
The My Activity feature is expected to be available soon. Once it is available, Google users will see a prompt for it when they log into their accounts.