Every time you use the internet, traces of your identity are left behind, like IP addresses, MAC addresses, and other unique identifiers. In addition, most web browsers, websites, and applications require you to opt into the utilization of cookies to better personalize your browsing experience.
Examples of What Google Collects
Here are a few examples of what Google collects from you:
- Information that you give to Google — including personal information such as name, email address, phone number, credit card, and photos
- Information gleaned from the use of Google services — like data usage, personal preferences, emails, photos, videos, browsing history, map searches, spreadsheets, and documents
- Information from the device you’re using to access Google’s services — including hardware model, mobile network information (yes, this includes your phone number), and what operating system you’re using
- Server log information — collected from when you’re actively using their services, like search queries, phone information (time and date of calls, types of calls, forwarding numbers, etc.), IP addresses, cookies that are uniquely linked to your web browser or Google account, and device activity information (e.g., crashes, hardware settings, language)
- Location information — about where you are in the world, including your city, state, neighborhood, and approximate address
- A “unique application number” from peripheral services and apps — that provides more identifying information to Google when queried
- Your Google Search history — which includes personal information found in Google services like YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Images
- Your interactions with other sites and services — especially when you interact with ads.