What does Google know? If you say everything under the sun, well, you are absolutely correct. Far scarier is the fact that Google also knows all about YOU!
In its defense, Google is not hiding anything. In fact, the search engine giant is completely open and honest about what it does with your information.
So don’t you think it is time you learned just what they know?
In plain English? They may sell your information to third-party companies. They may or may not let you know about it.
In plain English?
- Cookies are what enable us to sign on to favorite websites without re-entering our name and password; Google uses the cookies to track you.
- You can change your settings (click on the “Google Dashboard”) to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent, though that may stop certain features from working.
- Click on Google’s “Ads Preferences Managers ” to manage, or opt out of, what ads you see.
• Log information – When you access Google services via a browser, application or other client our servers automatically record certain information. These server logs may include information such as your web request, your interaction with a service, Internet Protocol address, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your account.
In plain English? Everything you do, read, and search on Google is automatically saved on servers and tied back to you, thanks once again to those cookies.
• User communications – When you send email or other communications to Google, we may retain those communications in order to process your inquiries, respond to your requests and improve our services. When you send and receive SMS messages to or from one of our services that provides SMS functionality, we may collect and maintain information associated with those messages, such as the phone number, the wireless carrier associated with the phone number, the content of the message, and the date and time of the transaction. We may use your email address to communicate with you about our services.
In plain English? Every single one of your emails and texts may be saved for infinity. To drive this point home, Google clearly states it will save even “the content of the message,” so think twice before you hit send on emails or texts.
In plain English? Your user information may be shared with outside companies working with Google.
In plain English? If you use an add-on service from outside of Google to change anything within Google — from using a widget on your Chrome browser to using a download within your gmail account – the third-party company has its own set of privacy policies you might want to know about.
• Location data – Google offers location-enabled services, such as Google Maps and Latitude. If you use those services, Google may receive information about your actual location (such as GPS signals sent by a mobile device) or information that can be used to approximate a location (such as a cell ID).
In plain English? If you use a GPS or other mapping tool, Google knows where you are.
• Unique application number – Certain services, such as Google Toolbar, include a unique application number that is not associated with your account or you. This number and information about your installation (e.g., operating system type, version number) may be sent to Google when you install or uninstall that service or when that service periodically contacts our servers (for example, to request automatic updates to the software).
In plain English? The way you search, and the browser you use, is all saved and tracked back with a unique number assigned just to you.
In plain English? Google has warned you about what it knows about you, but once you click on other sites, buyer beware. Google is hinting that you can – and should – investigate how other websites track information about you.
Google’s CEO on Privacy
“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
Watch this video, in which Schmidt further adds:
“The reality is that search engines like Google do retain this information for some time.”