Manage or Delete Your Google Activity Using “My Activity”

Like most of us, you’ve probably wondered what data Google collects on you as you surf the web using its search engine? It’s no secret that Google probably knows a lot about you.

The company tracks almost everything you do on the Internet— this includes your searches, the music you listen to, videos you watch, and even places you travel to, etc. in order to create a personal profile of you. Sure, but what does it do with this info?  Of course, the main motive is to tailor relevant ads to its users and better improve its overall service.

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Now, Google has a plan to make it easier to control all data the company collects across all your devices. Are you curious what information, exactly, the search giant has saved about you?

Now, thanks to a new tool called My Activity, there exists a searchable history of pretty much everything you do online. This includes basically all activities you’ve done within the tech giant’s many services.

The “My Activity” tool  — “Welcome to My Activity” Google

“My Activity is a central place to view and manage activity like searches you’ve done, websites you’ve visited, and videos you’ve watched,” so reads a quote from Google itself. “Your activity is listed as individual items, starting with the most recent. These items might be part of bundles, which group similar activity together.”

The plethora of Google products that work with the My Activity page include:

  • Ads
  • Search
  • Android
  • Play
  • Chrome
  • YouTube
  • Video and Image Search
  • Maps
  • News
  • Now
  • Books
  • Developers
  • Finance
  • Help
  • Shopping.

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Search My Activity (Google)

Soon, you will see a prompt on Google services asking you to check your security settings. A new opt-in option will ask you if you’d like personalized ads based on your demographic and search history to display on third-party sites, reports Wired.

By opting in, you will allow Google to use all of the information related to your account across services including Search, Chrome, and YouTube to offer better ads for you across the web.

The feature is mostly beneficial for those who want more granular control over how ads work across all their devices linked with Google account. It essentially gives them the ability to block ads they don’t want to see/don’t concern them.

For example, if a particularly annoying ad for a mobile phone haunts you across the web, you can prevent that ad from appearing at all. The personalized ad feature also offers you an option to delete search items as well. This can involve everything in a particular date range or by specific topics.

Extra privacy options:

If you are one of those extra privacy-conscious people, you can adjust your settings in the Privacy Checkup. You can change your settings for ultimate privacy, depending on how much of your online activity you allow Google to track.

You can even suspend web and application activity tracking for My Activity, but that could potentially impact features like autocomplete suggestions.

Do you use personalized ads? Why do you prefer this?