Find out what Google knows about you

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Find out what Google knows about you

My Activity allows you to discover, edit and even remove everything Google knows about you.

Google knows everything about you – well, a lot anyway. If you use an Android phone, it’ll know the last app you opened, the last person you called and even the last thing you searched using Google Now. iOS users aren’t beyond Google’s reach either. Its new Gboard keyboard gives it access to everything you ever type or search and if you use Chrome as your default mobile browser, it knows what you get up to online too.

Previously it’s been rather difficult to keep track of exactly what Google knows about you. Now, Google has launched an opt-in service known as My Activity, a page where you can see absolutely everything Google knows about you across all your devices in one place.

Think of it a little bit like your web browser history, except this time it's dialled up to 11.

Opting into the service gives Google the right to analyse even more data about your online habits. But by doing so, you gain the ability to edit everything Google remembers about you.

This means you can delete individual activities, searches, Google Now card interactions and tailor exactly what sort of content is advertised to you via Google's AdSense platform. In a way, you now have the control to take your browsing experience back from Google and make it your own.

You could, if you so wished, wipe the entirety of your history, leaving Google with absolutely nothing – although that will reduce the effectiveness of intelligent tools like Google Now.

The My Activity page presents your data as Google Now-style cards in an Inbox-style list. You can search through anything using keywords or product names and then either delete the information from Google's records or delve deeper into what it really knows you've been up to.

Not only is this a useful security and privacy feature, it’s just pretty damn interesting too. Although, it's clear Google still has some work to do as, according to its data sources, one of our writers has been using been using his Android device in 2061 to listen to Soundcloud. He assures us he hasn’t, but maybe he will.

Over the coming weeks, you’ll be prompted to sign up for My Activity – although it isn't compulsory. If you'd rather jump in right away, you can sign up for My Activity by simply visiting the page, signing into your Google account and accepting the terms.

This article originally appeared at alphr.com

Copyright © Alphr, Dennis Publishing
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