As I have written in other posts (here and here), the amount of data which third-party technology companies save regarding almost every facet of your life is staggering. If you have a Google Account it may be worth your while to check out the kind of details Google is storing about your daily activities. Do you know remember what you searched for exactly one year ago? Google does. Here is how you can see exactly what Google knows about you:
- Go to: myactivity.google.com
To get Google from at least acknowledging they are tracking various history about you click on the three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
You should see something similar to the left-hand image. From here you are going to want to click on:
You should now see a list of boxes which describe various services Google tracks; such as Web & App Activity, Location History, etc. Here you can toggle each one off or on as you feel is appropriate for your needs. However, you still are not done yet; because all the existing history is still stored.
Going back to myactivity.google.com you are presented with a list of each individual data point which is stored. You could click in the upper right hand box of each item and delete that one specific item. Though, if your account has been around for any length of time it would take a lot of time to delete them all.
To delete items by service or simply to delete all items look over at the
Unfortunately, in the “big data”, “big tech”, surveillance state there is no one panacea which will guarantee a fix to all issues. It may be worthwhile to check these settings every now and then and also check to see if new tracking data points reappear. According to Google’s own policy, they claim to immediately start deleting data which you have marked for deletion. I personally believe that about as much as I believe in unicorns. However, I felt it only complete and proper to provide “their side” and you can make up your mind.
So why go through all this trouble if, hypothetically they are not deleting it? In a legal context, it is about intent. If you mark something that Google pubically admits you are allowed to destroy for destruction and Google does not destroy it; I believe a case can be made should that data be introduced against you in some legal proceeding. You documented your intent to have it destroyed. Google’s agreement was they would destroy it. If this data comes back to “haunt” you, and you suffer harm (civil fines, divorces loss, etc); I can easily see a case against Google for damages. However, this is an untested legal ground. I can find no case, yet where this logic has been applied. However, I can see no harm in declaring your intent to have your data not stored.
* results may vary and subject to best available information known at the time of this writing.