What google knows about me? Personal information that Google holds

What google knows about me? Much more information than Facebook.

Google has much more personal information than Facebook. Nevertheless, it has not been exposed to strict criticism like Facebook (of course, Facebook has recently been criticized because the company illegally leaked personal information).

After all, we use Google everywhere. Internet search, email (Gmail), calendar (Google calendar), map (Google map), photo album (Google photo), video posting / viewing (YouTube), smartphone OS (Android), and browser ( Google Chrome) also uses Google. Much wider than baby photos and comments posted by regular Facebook users.

12 times more information than Facebook

So why isn’t Google criticized for collecting personal information?

To answer this question, I first decided to download and compare all of my personal information that Google and Facebook have.

The first thing I found was that Google had about 12 times more information about me than Facebook. However, there was little surprising information. Most of the information that Google had was what I put on the Google platform, such as photos, documents and emails.

On the other hand, there were a lot of surprises about Facebook. The downloaded files included a list of 500 companies that knew my contacts, and a “friends” list that included people who wanted to delete years ago.

In the case of Google, whenever it was uneasy, it turned out that certain information (such as Android apps opened in the past few years) could be removed from the Google system. However, on Facebook, I found that many of my browsing records could not be deleted completely.

Google has been developing tools that allow users to download their information over the years, says spokesperson Aaron Stein. “Users should be able to easily understand and manage their own data on Google. Google encourages users to use this tool for optimal privacy management.”

Technology companies such as Google and Facebook have tremendous power. It is proportional to the amount of personal information they hold. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you regularly check and select your personal information held by these companies.

Download all your data – What google knows about me

Below are some of the experiences I have done with Google.

The tool for downloading your data on Google is called “Google Takeout” and can be accessed from your browser (google.com/takeout). Select the information you want to download on this page. You can choose all or some (location history in Google maps, interactions with specific Gmail contacts, YouTube viewing history, photos uploaded to Google Photos, etc.).

What google knows about me
What google knows about me

Once you ’ve archived your data, download it. However, this is likely to be a fairly large file. In my case, it was 8GB. For music, it’s 2000 hours. It took about half a day from the request to create the archive until Google sent an email to download the link.

When I opened the archive, there were three points to be noted.

<1> “My Activity” folder

In the My Activity folder, you can get an overview of your activity history on Google services (Android, Google Maps, Google News, etc.).

Of these, my web browsing history was in a subfolder called “Ads.” It included not only the sites visited via Google services, but also the pages that flew from Twitter and the sites opened by clicking text message links.

According to Google, ads that appear on many websites are posted through the Google network, so when you visit these websites, they are recorded in the personal information of the users that Google collects.

Nonetheless, Google says it ’s better to tell this fact than to hide it from the user. Brian Fitzpatrick, the head of the Google Takeout development team, said, “The company collects the user’s personal information. This is just an honest way to show it.”

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