After the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, all eyes have been on Facebook. But Facebook isn’t the only company collecting significant amounts of data on their users. Companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are also prolific data gathers. And the file Google has on you may be significantly more detailed than what Facebook has collected.
While the precise amount of data collected varies from one user to the next, Google tracks a large amount of a user’s web activity as well as physical location data.
Partially, this is based on the sheer number of services Google offers, ranging from YouTube to Google Maps.
It is possible to see some of the information the tech giant has collected, but it may not represent the full scope of the file they have on an individual. But, according to a report on ZeroHedge, a user’s Google file could be 10 times larger than their file on Facebook.
Google gives users the ability to download their data, similar to the offering on Facebook.
To access your file, you can head to takeout.google.com or go into the Personal Info & Privacy section under My Account, head into the Control Your Content section, and select Create Archive under the Download or Transfer Your Content heading.
Once on the Download Your Data Page, you can see the full range of products included under the Google umbrella that may have been used to collect data.
Use the toggles to select which ones to include in your download (by default, they are all included), then scroll to the bottom of the page and click Next.
Users can choose their file type, the max size of the file (if you have more data than the limit allows, multiple files are created to provide users with all of the information), and the delivery method.
Once the archive file is created, you can review the data that has been collected.
Some users have reportedly made shocking discoveries regarding what they found in their file. One person found that Google collected web browsing data even when he used incognito mode, while others were startled to see how much location data was in their files.
In some cases, users can adjust their settings or preferences to limit data collection, but the options are somewhat limited.