I ran across this article awhile back, and it referenced some interesting data about Google from a web site called Mylio that caught my attention. Yes, I still have a Google account, a gmail account, and I use Hangout with the rest of the development team, but I thought I had minimized the “free” data I was giving Google about myself. Little did I know…
To be fair, Google is not trying to hide what it’s collecting on us, and in fact they have provided a tool called Google Takeout, a sorta-convenient way of downloading and inspecting your personal data. I say “sorta” because some of the information ends up in HTML files, and you need to know how to load them from your file system into your browser.
Once you are logged in to your Google account, you can go to https://takeout.google.com/settings/takeout and download a zip file that will give you a concise summary of everything that you have floating around in the GoogleSphere. Unzip the file, and start your inspection.
Busted by YouTube
I guess the thing that really got my attention was the fact that Google had compiled a list of my YouTube views. The videos you watch can really reveal what you’re up to – in my case, it was obvious that I am prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse, given all the survivalist videos I had watched. Oh yeah, and how to do proper maintenance on the pressure tank of my well system. Sigh. Anyway, all that stuff got deleted.
Finish Your Tour
Some items you may want to keep – photos, documents, maps, etc. Just remember that if you can see it, Google can see it too. More importantly, who asks Google to take a peek at your stuff? Dunno…