Online users have been taken aback by a woman’s revelation about the steps required to access the comprehensive data that Google has accumulated regarding each individual.
In today’s digital age, most of us have come to terms with the fact that our various devices are privy to a wealth of information about us. Often, our names, addresses, phone numbers, and even bank details are readily stored and accessible. We’ve all encountered the jokes about the hypothetical ‘FBI agent’ lurking in our phones, listening to our conversations.
Consequently, it’s become less astonishing, albeit still unsettling, when advertisements appear for something we’ve just discussed. If you’ve ever pondered over the uncanny accuracy of certain ads, a recent revelation might shed light on the matter.
TikTok user @yorgoandlea shared a video outlining a method to uncover the data Google possesses about you – the very data that is employed to tailor advertisements to your preferences.
In the video, the TikTok user navigates to Google’s platform and enters the search term ‘ad settings google’. Once she’s logged into her account, she discovers a scrollable list where Google presents details like her age, gender, and languages spoken. Interestingly, the platform also showcases potential areas of interest, such as ‘architecture’ and ‘audio equipment’.
This list can also be accessed by visiting your Google account, selecting ‘Manage’, then clicking on ‘data and privacy’, and finally choosing ‘my ad centre’.
Google further elaborates on the categories it utilizes to tailor advertisements. This includes information about your relationship status, parental status, educational background, industry, and even whether you’re a homeowner.
To enhance the customization of your applications, Google can employ data collected from its websites and apps, including the approximate location where you’re utilizing them.
The extent of information stored by the search engine is indeed quite alarming, especially if you can’t recall ever consciously providing it. The video has garnered a flood of comments from individuals who were taken aback by the depth of knowledge Google possesses about them.
“It’s scarily accurate,” shared one viewer, reflecting the widespread unease.
While the information was spot-on for many, it wasn’t a perfect match for everyone. One person shared that Google presumed they were over 44 years old when they were actually just 19. However, the accuracy hit home for numerous users.
If you’re uncertain about being targeted with personalized ads and wish to opt out, you can take steps to turn them off and modify your privacy settings within your Google account.
The site explains: “Your account info is private to you, but you can share some of it or make it visible to others on Google services. Based on your settings, Google uses your data to personalize your experience.”