Are you a user of any of Google’s applications – like Gmail, YouTube, Search, Google Maps, Chrome Browser, etc? Do you use an Android phone? Have you used the oh-so-convenient facility of using the ‘login using your Google account’ facility to login to a non-google website or mobile app?
If yes, then are you aware that almost all that you do is being recorded and processed in the background? That your detailed profile is being built? How else do you think the ‘right’ ads pop up when you are browsing or using an app?
Here is a sample of the kind of personal details that Google can track & record about you – and this can be rather spooky:
- Each and every site that you have visited using your Chrome browser and all the passwords that you have asked Chrome to ‘remember’.
- Every single thing you have done using your Android phone – whom have you called or mailed, the apps you have used, all the geographical locations you have visited, where exactly you have taken a photo, etc. And, therefore, who are your real-life friends & family – based on whom you frequently call and mail.
- Every single search you have done – not just on Google but also on other Google properties like YouTube – and, therefore, which sites you have visited or which videos you have watched.
Why does Google record this? Who else gets access to this information?
- This is used to build your profile. This is then used to deliver advertisements and offers to you via all the ad and data networks it is connected to. That is why, after reading something about Bali online, for the next couple of hours you keep seeing ads about hotels in Bali or flight deals to Bali on every site you visit.
- This information is also made available to other websites and applications that use the Google Authentication facility – where you use the ‘Sign in with Google’
However, the good news is that Google gives you the flexibility to control a LOT of this – what is recorded, what goes to ad networks, what goes to 3rd party sites and apps, etc.
On this Data Privacy Day, we at Arrka have developed a ‘Privacy Guide for your Google Account’ – a detailed document that tells you exactly how you can control and manage your privacy better.
-This is the first of our privacy guide series. Stand by for similar guides for Facebook, Linked In and other Social Media properties. If you would like to be intimated about these, drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
– We’d also love to get your feedback. Mail us at email@example.com