Unless you’ve adjusted your settings to forbid Google from accumulating your data from all of their services, chances are that Google has recorded your Google life. Whether you use Google Chrome, conduct search queries on Google.com, watch videos on YouTube, to name a few, you will now be able to see what you have searched in one centralized location called “My Activity,” Google’s newest feature. If your Android user or if you heavily rely on any or all of Google’s services, expect to see a very long timeline of your online life.
“My Activity” Feature Highlights
Every day you are shown a brief overview of the activity that took place a day prior on your mini dashboard. Here you can filter your activity by date and product to view a history of a specific Google product and the date you wish to filter it by.
For some, this is a great tool to view your history in one centralized portal in case you are trying to find something you’ve searched for on a previous date and forgot about. For others, this may be considered an invasion of privacy. Good news is that you have the ability to control what Google gathers by simply fine-tuning your data settings on the Activity Controls page. Here you can turn off data gathering for web activity, location history, video and audio activity, devices you used, and YouTube video viewing history.
The biggest feature of “My Activity” is that Google will be able to serve you better-targeted ads. By pulling your day-to-day data, you may no longer receive advertisements that are irrelevant to you. Google wrote in a note to users stating that “When you use Google services like Search and YouTube, you generate data — things like what you’ve searched for and videos you’ve watched. (…) With this change, this setting may also include browsing data from Chrome and activity from sites and apps that partner with Google, including those that show ads from Google.”
You have the ability to also opt out of ad tracking here; however, this opt out simply turns off Google’s ability to track your interests, and so, you may no longer see ads that are relevant to you. This is because you have turned off “ads based on your interest,” and “ads based on your interests on websites beyond google.com.
As it becomes available to users, notifications will be sent to review their privacy settings.