Imagine a world where everything you do and think is monitored, analyzed, sold and even used against you in some cases. Without you even knowing at times. Welcome to 2020, because it’s exactly the privacy landscape we’re finding ourselves in. Google has all the data.
And Google is one of the players responsible for the new order. The Google Search was launched back in 1997 and it has been dominating in the Internet ever since.
Of course, one may argue that we’re far from Orwell’s 1986 and Westworld circa season 3-type of reality. But are we really? A simple examination of the amounts of the data Google has on you makes the eyebrows rise in horror and cold drips of sweat rolling down the spines.
Bad news is: Google knows a hella lot.
Good news is: you can have (almost) all the data the company collected.
The recent possibility to access the data company has on you is called Google Takeout.
Although the Takeout itself is a convenient and easy-to-use feature that can make an impression that Google really cares, you shouldn’t give in smoothly to the big tech privacy whispers.
Sometimes Google sends user’s private videos to strangers, allegedly tracks you even if you turned the location tracking off, takes a grip over the sensitive healthcare data of millions of patients without their consent and occasionally steals data to sell it.
But while another company with questionable privacy practices Facebook occupies the social level of human behavior, Google with its Search can reach the deepest personal layers of a person.
For example, if you type in “what to do if I’m pregnant” in a search, Google saves it on the servers thus potentially knows you even better than any of your friends or family members. Maybe even better than yourself. And this is when it gets scary.
But enough of fear mongering, let’s get to the practicalities on how you can get all the data that Google has on you.
How to get all the data Google has on you step-by-step:
Step 1: Log into your account in Google using https://myaccount.google.com/
Step 2: Go to the https://takeout.google.com/ to use the new Google Takeout feature
Step 3: Select the data you want to include choosing from the various Google products that might have your personal information
Step 4: Choose the delivery method of the summary of your data. Be aware that we’re talking a file that may be more than 100 GB here (depending on how actively you’ve been using Google services throughout your life)
The extraction may take more than 24 hours. You will have one week to download the file.
So here you have it, gigabytes of the data Google has on you. Performing such an action definitely gives you a food for thought regarding the amounts of personal information you’re sharing with a big tech company.
Be aware that extracting your data and deleting it are two different processes. We’ll cover the deletion in the next article.
Discover how to disable Facebook tracking.
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