How to Stop Google From Collecting Your Private Information

Technology > IT

Turning off Google's ability to collect data may affect the user's experience with the websites they use / pixinoo via Shutterstock

 

Google holds a significant amount of data about its users; from users' location, Google searches, YouTube watch history, voice recordings, to even the devices used to access the search engine.

Google is equipped with a tool—called the Privacy Checkup tool—that allows users to see the information it's collecting, which can be deleted individually. The search engine also allows users to turn off its collection of such private information, CNBC says.

However, the business news site notes, turning off Google's ability to collect data may affect the user's experience with the websites they use. For instance, if it doesn't know the videos one watches on YouTube, it won't be able to recommend similar videos that users may like. Not knowing the location can also hinder some Google Maps features to function properly.

Here's how users can use Google's Privacy Checkup tool to see their activities online, delete them, and stop the search engine from collecting those data, according to CNBC:

1. First, go to this link: https://myaccount.google.com/privacycheckup/. It is the main page in which you will work.

2. Log in to your Google account.

3. Check each category (Web & App Activity, YouTube Search History, Location History).

4. Click "Manage" under each category to see how the tech firm uses your stored information. This is also where you can disable Google's capacity to collect your data.

5. Move on to the section named "Make ads more relevant to you."

6. Turn off the "Ad personalization" function. This will disable Google from displaying ads based on your interests (which the search engine knows based on your searches).

7. To prevent your reviews on restaurants or apps from appearing in the Play Store or Maps, go to "Control what others see about you," look for "Edit your shared endorsement setting," and turn it off.

8. If you don't want other people to find you through video chat and other Google apps, you may opt to turn off the "Help people connect with you" function.

9. To prevent Google from recognizing your face, you may choose "Manage your Google Photo settings" to disable the said function.

10. In the "Manage what you share on YouTube" section, you can turn everything off so that no one else can your playlists and other YouTube activities.

11. Lastly, go to https://myaccount.google.com/data-and-personalization. Here, you can turn off Google's ability to collect data from you whenever you use its services. This would ensure your privacy in using services such as YouTube and Google Search. Note that turning it off can make it difficult for Google to recommend things you may like.