We all know Google loves to collect data. But what kind is really collected and analyzed? Sadly, that’s a question not even we can answer. Google does provide a partial overview of it in Google My Activity though. Depending on your settings you will be able to check out your browsing history, where you were and when you were there, as well as which devices you’re using. It will also allow you to determine in just a few minutes what data you want to allow Google to collect.
To do so, open http://google.com and log in. Call up “My Account” from the menu. The item “Personal info & privacy” will lead you to “Privacy Check-up” and “My Activity”.
Google My Activity – overview
Here you will find a list of activities which for example includes your searches on YouTube, the YouTube videos you’ve watched, and more. The data you will see on this page are just visible for you. By the way: If you’re looking for a specific activity, Google offers a search function for your convenience.
In our little example we have watched the YouTube video tutorial on “How to install Avira Antivirus”.
With one click on “Details” you can see the exact information Google collected for this activity and why. You’re also able to delete such an entry by clicking on the three points above the message.
The menu item “Other Google activity” can be reached via the top left menu. Call up your personal location history, your Google Play Sound Search history, and what devices you’re using. Additionally this is where you can manage (and remove) the YouTube videos you’ve marked as “Not interested”, so that similar videos will show up in your search again. You will also be able to download your search activity in archived form.
In June 2014 I’ve spent some wonderful days on Lanzarote. Dabbling with “Location History” in Google My Activity can help taking you on a trip down memory lane. Google displays its location history very simplified though – so it’s up to you to conjure up the according moments.
Beside the other items the top left menu also gives you control about your activities on Google. Administrate your settings concerning several histories and activities. To activate or deactivate a feature you can use the slide control that you will find on the top right of each paragraph.
What kind of person are you? Do you care who collects your data? And if you do – do you avoid those who collect what they can?