Here’s How to Delete What Google is Recording About You

Prayank

It wouldn’t be news to you if I said that we live in a world where surveillance is reaching new heights, and certainly you won’t be surprised if I told you that Google is recording your searches and where you’ve been in the past few years, or does it?

Photo: Niharb/Flickr CC
Photo: Niharb/Flickr CC

Any which ways, most of us don’t care what Google’s servers have on us — because let’s face it, we aren’t a threat to any government organisation that ‘could’ be using that information.

But by force of nature, I’m a bit sceptic about Google or anyone else for that matter of fact tracking and storing information about my whereabouts or saving my voice searches.

What on Earth happened to privacy?

I’m not paranoid, absolutely not. It’s just that I love my privacy and don’t feel the need to share my life with Google — we all have friends for that.

Google’s data collection practices have become the norm, but for those of you who are as or less or maybe even more concerned about their privacy, read on ahead as we discuss how to get rid of your search and location history from Google’s servers.

While this process doesn’t make sure that Google deletes the information from its servers (although they say they do), at least this will give you peace of mind that you played a part in safeguarding your interests.

How to Get Rid of Google’s Tracking and Delete your History?

Login to your Activity Page using your Google account credentials and you’ll be redirected to a page which has an overview of your footprints over Google — Ads, Chrome, Image search, News, Maps, Maps Timeline, Video search, YouTube or normal Google Search.

3-dot-menu

You’ll see a (3-dot) menu on the top right of the panel which has other options too. Click on that and a drop-down menu will appear which will contain two useful options in wiping your data off of Google’s servers — Delete activity by and Activity controls.

Delete activity by will redirect you to a window where you can selectively delete your available history from Google’s various services or delete all of them at once. You can even delete activities for a specific day, month or year.

delete-g-ac

Activity controls redirects you to a window where you can control whether or not to allow Google to access and store your information on their servers.

These include control of your Web and app activity, location history, device information, voice and audio activity, YouTube search history, YouTube watch history, Google+ and a few more.

turn-off-voice

You can just switch these off and Google will pause the activity tracking.

If you ever wish to see what Google uses this data for, they’ve an answer for your query too. But experience has taught me to take everything with a pinch of salt, especially things that seem sugar coated and tell you that everything is for your own good.

We’ve listed out ways to opt out of google analytics and interest based ads, taking control of apps using your Google Data and exporting all of your stored data out of Google here. Check them out too if you haven’t already.

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Prayank

Written By

Prayank

Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.