Want to freak yourself out? I’m going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realizing it.
Google knows where you’ve been
Google stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where you’ve been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone.
Click on this link to see your own data: https://www.google.com/maps/timeline?…
Here is every place you have been in the last 12 months in any country. You can see the time of day that you were in the location and the length of time it took you to reach that place from your previous one.
Google knows everything you’ve ever searched – and deleted
Google stores search history across all your devices. That may indicate that, even in the event that you delete your search history and smartphone history on a single device, it might still have information stored from different devices.
Click on this link to see your own data: myactivity.google.com/myactivity
Google has an advertisement profile of you
Google creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?), and income.
Click on this link to see your own data: https://adssettings.google.com/
Google knows all the applications you have
Google stores info on each app and extension you’re using. They understand how frequently you use them, where you use them, and that you utilize them to socialize with. That means that they understand who you speak to on Facebook, what states are you talking with, what time you go to sleep.
Click on this link to see your own data: https://myaccount.google.com/security…
Google has all of your YouTube history
Google stores all of your YouTube history, so they probably know whether you’re going to be a parent soon, if you’re a conservative, if you’re a progressive, if you’re Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if you’re feeling depressed or suicidal, if you’re anorexic …
Click on this link to see your own data: youtube.com/feed/history/…
The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents
Google offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. I’ve requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big, which is roughly 3m Word documents.
Manage to gain access to someone’s Google account? Perfect, you have a Journal of What that Man has done
This link includes your own bookmarks, contacts, emails, your own google drive documents, all the above info, your YouTube videos, the photos you’ve taken on your phone, the businesses you’ve bought from, the products you’ve bought through Google …
They also have data from your calendar, your Google hangout sessions, your location history, the music you listen to, the Google books you’ve purchased, the Google groups you’re in, the websites you’ve created, the phones you’ve owned, the pages you’ve shared, how many steps you walk in a day …
Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/takeout
Facebook has reams and reams of data on you, too
Facebook offers a similar option to download all your information. They have roughly 600MB of data on me, which is around 400,000 Word documents.
This includes every message you’ve ever sent or been sent, every file you’ve ever sent or been sent, all the contacts in your phone, and all the audio messages you’ve ever sent or been sent.
Click here to see your data: https://www.facebook.com/help/131112897028467
Facebook stores everything from your stickers to your login location
Facebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based on the things you’ve liked and what you and your friends talk about (I apparently like the topic “girl”).
Somewhat pointlessly, they also store all the stickers you’ve ever sent on Facebook (I have no idea why they do this. It’s just a joke at this stage).
They also store every time you log in to Facebook, where you logged in from, what time, and from what device.
And they store all the applications you’ve ever had connected to your Facebook account, so they can guess I’m interested in politics and web and graphic design.
They can access your webcam and microphone
The information they gather includes tracking where you’re, what software or application you’ve just installed, when you access them, also access to your webcam and mic at any moment, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your dialing and receiving history, the messages that you send and receive, the documents you download, the games you play, your own photographs and videos, your music, your search history, your browser history, also what radio stations you listen to.
Here are the ways Google gets your data
I got the Google Takeout Record with my complete information, and this really is a breakdown of all of the various ways they receive my data.
Here is the search history record, that has 90,000 distinct links, even revealing the pictures that I downloaded along with the sites that I obtained (I revealed the Pirate Bay segment to reveal how much harm this info can perform ).
Google knows which and when you attended events
Here’s a little glimpse of Google Calendar broken down, showing all the events someone has ever added, whether you actually attended them, and what time you attended them at.
Google also has information you deleted
This is a Google Drive folder, which includes files you explicitly deleted including your résumé, your monthly budget, and all the code, files, and websites you’ve ever made, and even your PGP private key, which you deleted, that you use to encrypt emails.
Google can know your workout routine
This is your Google Fit, which shows all of the steps you have ever taken, at any time you walked anywhere, and all the times you’ve recorded any meditation/yoga/workouts you have done (I deleted this information and revoked Google Fit’s permissions).
And they have all your photos ever clicked
Here you will find all the photos ever taken with your phone, sorted down by year, and includes metadata of when and where you took those photos
Google has stored every email you sent
Every email you’ve ever sent, that’s been sent to yourself, including the ones you deleted or were categorized as spam.
And there is more
I’ll just do a short summary of what’s in the thousands of files I received under my Google Activity.
First, every Google Ad I’ve ever viewed or clicked on, every app I’ve ever launched or used and when I did it, every website I’ve ever visited and what time I did it at, and every app I’ve ever installed or searched for.
They also have every image I’ve ever searched for and saved, every location I’ve ever searched for or clicked on, every news article I’ve ever searched for or read, and every single Google search I’ve made since 2009. And then finally, every YouTube video I’ve ever searched for or viewed, since 2008.
This information has millions of nefarious uses. You say you’re not a terrorist. Then how come you were googling Isis? Work at Google and you’re suspicious of your wife? Perfect, just look up her location and search history for the last 10 years. Manage to gain access to someone’s Google account? Perfect, you have a chronological diary of everything that person has done for the last 10 years.
This is one of the craziest things about the modern age. We would never let the government or a corporation put cameras/microphones in our homes or location trackers on us. But we just went ahead and did it ourselves because – to hell with it! – I want to watch cute dog videos.