Google gathers a lot of data on its users and their online activity. Most individuals who have a Google account are aware that the business gathers data, but most of us would be surprised to learn just how much data it collects. Unlike other businesses that have been rather dishonest about their data collection methods, Google has always been upfront about its operations, in line with their previous company slogan “don’t be evil.” Whether they achieve in their goal is debatable, but individual users do have access to much of the information Google gathers on them, as well as the opportunity to delete at least part of it.
Why would you care about the date your Google account was created? For one reason, the date you established your Google Account is one of the recovery questions you may use to restore access to the account if you ever get locked out. As a result, it’s important to find out and keep track of the facts. (However, it’s unlikely that you’ll find it in one of your Google account’s features.) In this post, I’ll show you how to get a lot of the information Google gathers on you, including the date your Google Account was created. I’ll also teach you how to control how Google gathers data about you in a variety of ways.
Find out when your Google Account was created.
Most people acquired a Google account as a result of establishing a Gmail account, and you can find out when you established your Google account from inside Gmail. Your Gmail account has the same start date as your Google account.
Here’s how to figure out when your Google Account was created:
1. To access Gmail Settings, open Gmail and click the cog symbol.
2. Select POP/IMAP and Forwarding.
3. Look at the first line of the POP Download section, Status: Pop is enabled for all mail that has arrived since…
The date on that line is the date your Google Account was established.
How to find out what information Google has on you
Because Google gathers so much data from so many sources, we will never know precisely what data it collects. They collect information from our searches, Google account activity, email, and even your Gboard phone keyboard. All of these factors, as well as many more, are reflected in Google’s statistics. However, you may view some of the information that has been gathered, which may be depressing to read.
To view what data is saved, you’ll need to log into your Google Account page. You can access and modify a lot of your data and privacy settings from here.
You may view (and edit) your name, age, phone number, birthdate, gender, and location under the Personal Info area. You may also choose what information other users have access to about your account; in other words, you can make yourself more or less visible online.
To view everyone you’ve ever emailed via Gmail and all your phone contacts if you use Android, go to People & Sharing, then Contacts. You may choose whether or not to store new contact information from new people’s interactions here.
There’s a lot of information in the Data & Personalization area. You may scroll down to the Activity Controls area to view all of your searches, your location history, your voice activity, and much more.
The Ad Personalization section explains how your advertisements are tailored to your preferences. You can view what Google believes your hobbies are and delete or add to that list. It has an Orwellian feel about it.
It is possible to download a small dossier of the information Google has on you. Scroll down to Download your data under Data & personalisation. Choose Build Archive, then choose what data you want to download and create the download archive.
You have complete control over the information Google stores about you.
Now that you’ve seen how much Google knows about you, it’s time to take back some control. You won’t be able to disable all data gathering. After all, if something is free, you are the thing. Google only provides so much free content because it can profit from our usage of it. We may, however, disable some aspects of data gathering.Using Google products, such as Android and Google Search, is the only method to fully prohibit Google from gathering data. Otherwise, here are some options to play with:
1. Go to the My Activity page on Google.
2. Select Activity Controls from the three-line menu icon in the upper left corner.
3. Uncheck the option on Web & App Activity and turn it off. Include Chrome history and activity from Google services-using sites, applications, and devices, as well as audio recordings.
4. Toggle off Location History by scrolling down.
5. Select Manage Activity and clear off all of your location’s data.
6. Return to the Activity Controls page.
7. Toggle off YouTube Search History, then go to Manage Activity to remove data.
8. At the bottom of the page, click the Go to Ad Settings text link. Toggle off Ad Personalization.
There are a couple more advanced options you can change, but I’ll save them for a Google Privacy lesson. It’s essential to remember that Google isn’t the only business that gathers data, and that, as far as we know, it doesn’t use it for bad purposes. At the very least, you now have a better understanding of what the business knows about you.