Data is what fuels the information economy.
And while there are many varieties of data clogging up the internet's bandwidth, there is one specific type of data that is known to be particularly lucrative: personal data.
Like many other enterprising tech giants, Google must accumulate massive amounts of personal data to monetize its services – and in the process, the company develops an astonishingly robust picture of what you're all about.
What Does Google Know About You?
Through its various apps and services, Google can craft a robust profile on you and your activity on the internet.
Google, like Facebook, uses this personal information to target customized advertisements to you, however, you decide to use the internet. This can be via search, mobile phone, Gmail, Youtube, or other apps that run ads connected to the Google network.
Crafting a Perfect Profile
Here is what Google knows about you, based on this information:
Who You Are
Google knows what you look like, what you sound like, your political and religious beliefs, and how healthy you are. The search giant also knows if you have children, or if you have specific dietary restrictions.
Where You've Been
Google uses location tracking to know where you live, where you work, and everywhere you've traveled.
Who Your Friends Are
Google knows who you talk to, and what you talk about. It also knows who you've been with, and when.
What You Like and Dislike
Based on your search queries, Google knows the food, books, movies, videos, and stores that you like or dislike.
Your Future Plans
Your search queries tell a story about what you are thinking about, including your future plans. Have you started searching for information about parenting techniques? If so, Google knows that you are expecting.
Your Online Life
Google also knows all of the websites you've visited, your data that auto-fills, and your bookmarked pages.
If you really want to decrease the amount of data that Google has on you, there are a few options available, including:
- Adjusting privacy settings
- Using private browsing
- Using a different browser for search
- Turning off your location settings
- Deleting your Google accounts
- Using a VPN
Of course, not many of these options are particularly convenient – to get used to the idea that Google will continue to know more and more about you as time goes on.