October 20, 2018

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All the creepy things Google knows about you (Reader’sDigest)

All the creepy things Google knows about you (Reader’sDigest)

You’re not gonna believe all the info Google has on you…but it’s true. And here’s what you can do about it.

Everywhere you’ve gone

Google keeps track of your location history—as reported by your mobile device (assuming your “location” is on), according to Rami Yermiya, a cybersecurity expert and founder and president of Dignotion, a New York City digital marketing technologies company. Check out your location history at your Google Maps Timeline, and you’ll see how comprehensive it actually is. Don’t enjoy feeling like you’re being tracked? You can change your settings as well as delete your location history, however, law enforcement can still subpoena your location history, meaning, essentially: even if you delete it, it’s not really gone.

Everywhere you’re going

When you Google “my flights,” you’ll get a list of all your upcoming air travel plans. According to Yermiya, this info is pulled from your emails, which makes it even creepier. And there doesn’t seem to be much you can do about it if you’re buying tickets online and using Gmail as your point of contact. And that brings us to…

The contents of all your emails

If you use Gmail, then Google is going to have access to the contents of your emails. There’s not much you can do about this (except deleting your Gmail account), but you can tell Google not to use your Gmails to target you for advertisements. Click on your Google Ad Settings and you’ll have the option to turn off your “ads personalisation,” Yermiya advises. Note that doing so won’t turn off advertisements and won’t stop Google from collecting your info. Turning off “ad personalisation” won’t stop Google from learning about you via any other information you allow them access to. But it will keep you from accessing your profile! So consider carefully before you click to “OFF.”.

Your approximate age

After clicking on Google Ad Settings, you can scroll down to see the dossier (er, “profile”) Google’s put together on you. The first thing that pops up is your age. It’s Google’s guesstimate, based on the information they’ve collected about you.

Your favorite shopping sites

Actually…make that all the shopping sites you visit. You’ll see it right there in your profile when you click on Google Ad Settings. Read more

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