Do you know, Google tracks you in many different ways? The answer is yes. There is no need to wonder here. Google constantly tracks you in every moment. But you can save yourself at some level by controlling and delete Google search history. There are a few ways to limit data and information that Google collects about you.
Do you want to prevent Google from knowing and tracking? But this is almost impossible. When you search the web, or go to a website, or use your Android phone, the advertising company collects your data every time. Google uses this collected data about you, which shows you the most relevant ads.
Know what Google knows about you?
Google knows you very well, amazed! Google constantly collects your data to create your ad profile. As Google is an advertising giant, it earns money through advertisements. Google’s parent company Alphabet generated $ 32.6 billion of advertising revenue in the previous quarter. But there is nothing to worry about, Google is not directly selling your data to a third party. This uses your advertising profile to make advertisement publishers personalize their ads.
Some times you have seen that some ads are in place and for some days you follow you on all webs. This ad is an example of personalization. When you search on Maps for “Tool Store” or “Shoes”, Google tracks it By tracking these lessons, Google understands that you need any device, and you want to buy shoes. Google will now start showing ads from tool companies or online portal selling tools. You will also start watching shoe advertising as well.
With every search and use of the web, Google draws a picture of you. In addition to using your data, it knows your age, gender, your interests and more. Based on your profile designed by Google, you will see ads that are relevant to your searches, age, interest and all your information. Although your data is safe and Google is not selling it to any unsafe unit, you still want to maintain your privacy.
How to delete Google search history and stop tracking you?
Before further reading, now you know that your data is being collected, and now you want to do something about it. Google’s default settings allow it to collect data rather than personal privacy. But the company also made your account settings even easier on data and personalization pages and privacy checkups. The settings include “Activity” settings, profile information and individual ads. Initially, you may have to spend a few hours to understand all of these.
1. Auto-delete Google search history and data
Google is experimenting with auto-delete feature and removing your data, instead of keeping it for several years. From May 2019, the company announced a new feature to control auto-deletes. It will automatically delete your location history and web and app activities.
You can choose a time period of 3 or 18 months for how long your information can be kept by Google. It simply means that anything older than your selected time duration will be automatically deleted. We can say, this is a good step that Google has taken.
2. Web & App activity
Web & App Activity stores your search and browses history in Chrome as well as other apps, that uses Google services like Maps. If you turn this off, you will not see your own recent searches or personalized ads. But keep in mind that turning it off does not mean that ‘Google’ does not know what you search.
3. Voice Data
You should also know, if you use the Google Voice service in your phone or use the Google Home device, then a record is kept for your voice. For example, after pressing “OK Google” or “Hey Google” microphone icon, you are able to search for anything using your voice instructions.
Your voice record data improves the recognition of your speech and helps the Assistant to understand your voice better. You can even playback these sound clips of yours. If you want, you can delete them one-by-one or all. You can also disable these records in your Google account under ‘My Activity’.
4. Location History
Location History tracks you everywhere. Note that you are in a mall, or in your home or office, you are in Google’s eye, and even when you are not using Google Maps. Your timeline shows its full record. Using Android, Google knows where you were, even a few years ago.
Here, turning off location history is not enough, as you can still use Maps. After closing it in the activity control, and by deleting existing data in the timeline, you can make your location record a little difficult. But Google still knows where you are because you can use other ‘apps’ that are using Google services. If you really want to stop tracking your location, do not use any web or app, we know that this is next-to-impossible.
5. Watch history and other settings
You can also be tracked using your YouTube Watch History, Search History, Google Photos. Here, you can clear YouTube watch and search history, face recognition, and remove location data from the metadata of shared photos.
6. Your Advertising profiles
You see personalized ads based on your ad profiles. If you do not want it, turn it off in Ads Settings. Under Options, you can prevent Google from using other information to personalize your web activity and ads. This does not mean that you will not see any ads. This is not an ad blocker. Google will still collect your information, but will not pair ads with browsing history or whatever you search on the web or on YouTube.
Here, you should also know that you cannot remove demographic information, such as your age and gender. But you can update them. In addition, you can delete or change the subject of your interest.
For any specific advertisers, you can block ads in Ads Settings. Click the name of the advertiser or company, and you will not see its ads, at least based on your personalization.
All other ways to delete Google search history and get data privacy
If you are really serious about your data and keen on your privacy, the best way is to delete your account. But think 10 times, Can you live without Gmail or Maps?
Here another option is to ditch Google products and services. For example, remove Chrome and use Firefox. Also, Use DuckDuckGo rather than Google Search. Ditch your Android and use iPhone if you can afford, and many more ways like this.
When you did everything you could do, such as deleting your Google account, ditching Android, Apps and other services. But even then, Google may still track you. The big question now in your mind is, How? A report called “passive data” can do this. However, Google said it doesn’t relate your name or other identities to that profile.
Now you could be understood how can you delete Google search history, records, and data, and can get privacy. But still, you can maintain it only up to an extent. If you are concerned about it, start thinking and act.