Have you ever wondered how Google decides which advertisements to show while you are scrolling through search results? Google mainly uses your search history to collect data about you and deduce your identity – and some of its deductions are uncannily accurate.
Based on the user’s search history, as well as browsing history on Google-owned platforms like Youtube, Google collects various information about the user. It then uses this information to create an advertising profile, serving users with advertisements that would fit their demographics.
By clicking a link from a Google account’s settings page, users can see what Google knows about them. Google predicts the age, gender, marital status, income, and personal interests of users.
Users can also correct the assumptions of Google, delete their details from the ad database of Google, or prevent Google from collecting data to predict their identity.
Most of the assumptions that Google made about me were eerily accurate (and a few were creepily accurate based on my search history).
Steps To Find How To Find What Google Knows About You and Limit the Data Google Collects From You
1. Click on the “Manage your Google Account” by clicking on the widget in the top right corner of any Google site.
2. Click on “Manage your data & personalization” to see further options.
3. Go to “Ad personalization” and then click on “Go to ad settings” to see your profile that Google has created.
4. A message describing ad personalization will be displayed on your screen. If you don’t want Google to track any personal information for ad purposes, you can switch ad personalization to OFF on this screen.
Ninja Hack: Click on this link to directly go to this page.
When you scroll down, you’ll see a list of attributes that Google has predicted about you, including your age, gender, and interests.
For most of the settings, you can also “turn off” the tracking, which will stop Google from using its predictions in that category to serve you ads.
When you opt to turn off ad personalization, you’ll see this message reminding you that ads will still appear, but be less targeted to you.
Note: Google also states that it will keep using “general” information like your location and the time of day to target ads to you when you turn off personalization.
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