Find Out Just How Much Google Knows About You

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.07 - 2024 11:52 AM CET

Technology
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Find out what Google knows about you.

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Like many companies, Google profits by using your data to display "relevant" ads tailored from the information they collect—not only the data you provide directly.

A TikTok user named Lea has shed light on how to uncover the extent of Google's knowledge about you. By logging into your Google account, you can see the basis for their personalized ad choices.

This practice is legal, as users consent to it in Google’s privacy policy, which states, "Google may share information about you with advertisers, business partners, sponsors, and other third parties."

"However, we only share aggregated information about our users and will not share personally identifiable information with any third party without your express consent."

This policy allows the company to distribute your data to other firms to show more tailored ads.

In a widely viewed TikTok video, Lea, under the username @leakalache, demonstrates how to find out exactly what Google knows about you.

How to Check What Google Knows About You

To find out what information Google has collected about you, follow these steps as shown by Lea in her TikTok video:

  1. Search on Google: Begin by typing "ads settings Google" into the Google search bar.

  2. Access the Ads Settings Page: Click on the first link that appears in the search results, which will direct you to Google’s Ads Settings page.

  3. Review Your Ad Personalization Settings: On this page, you can check whether ad personalization is enabled and see a detailed breakdown of how ads are tailored to you based on the information linked to your Google account.

What Information Does Google Use?

According to the settings page, the ads you see are influenced by several factors, including:

  • Personal Information: Details you’ve added to your Google account.

  • Data from Advertisers: Information from advertisers who partner with Google.

  • Google’s Assessment of Your Interests: Google's own analysis of what might interest you based on your online activity.

Lea discovered that Google had accurately assessed her as being 18-24 years old, female, multilingual, and having diverse interests such as cars, auctions, architecture, sound equipment, and bedding.

The video quickly amassed over 2.5 million views and 300,000 likes on TikTok, sparking a flurry of shocked comments from viewers. Many viewers were inspired to check their own settings after watching her video.

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