Hi Guys,

Do you ever find it strange how Google seems to know precisely what your searching for, or ads turn up for precisely what you need? This is due to the data that you share. Here is how they collect this data and what you can do to protect your privacy.

What’s happening:
Google is so good at collecting information that it is almost invisible; every click you make, every search you take, they are watching you. From search requests to youtube views and everything in between, they can use the data to create a profile on you, and here is how:

Search History:
Your search history is one of the primary sources that Google uses to personalize your ads. Consumer data is valuable, and Google can share your data with advertisers to display ads suited to your searches.

Audio Recording:
Yes, they can hear you. If you use virtual/AI assistance like Google Assistant, your microphone is on all the time, and the assistant picks up and stores your requests. Just like typing in a search parameter, asking a question to your AI assistant is the same, and Google uses the information in the same way. They were even exposed to using consumer recordings for research recently.

How do you protect your data:
Unfortunately, this level of data collection seems the standard for the big companies now, but you can limit the amount of data they can collect and delete what they already have on you. Here is your step by step guide of what to do and how to do it:

Step 1: Log into your google account

  • Log in to myaccount.google.com
  • Choose ‘Manage your Google Account.’

Step 2: Manage online activity storage.

  • In the Privacy and Personalisation section, choose ‘Manage your data & personalization.’
  • In the Activity controls panel, turn off/untick the boxes beside the data you do not want to be collected. I would recommend doing this for Web & App activity tracking, Location history, Youtube history.

Step 3: Delete your online activity history.

  • In the Activity and timeline section, choose ‘My Activity.’
  • On the left sidebar menu, choose ‘Delete activity by.’ You will need to select how far back you want to delete the History.
  • Click ‘Delete’ to confirm your selection and complete the process.

Also, if you use the Google search engine Chrome, you should remove your Chrome browsing history:

  • Choose the three-dot menu.
  • Select History by hovering over History and clicking History from the top of the menu on the left.
  • Choose Clear browsing data and select the date range to delete. You can delete a lot of data, including your History, cookies, and cache.

Step 4: Delete your stored audio requests and assistant recordings

  • From your ‘Google Account’ page, choose ‘Data & personalization.’
  • From the ‘Activity Control’ panel, choose ‘Web & App Activity.’
  • From ‘Web & App Activity,’ choose ‘Manage Activity,’ from here you should be able to see a list of your past activity. Any items that have a microphone next to them mean that there was a recording stored also.
  • If you don’t want to delete all of your activity, you can choose the items you want to delete,
  • To DELETE an item, choose the three-dot icon and then select DELETE.

Please let me know if you need any assistance with this or with anything else.

All the best,
Max Roberts,
Incognito Privacy Care