How to find out everything Google knows about you in the new My Activity dashboard

Google has consolidated the data it has on you into an easy-to-use interface to find, browse through, or delete your digital history.

google my activity
Credit: Derek Walter

Google recently launched a new dashboard that presents all the key data it collects from you in one easy-to-find interface. 

The upside for you is that it provides a lot more control and transparency over what Google has collected, as you can find your web and search history, location timeline, Google services (Gmail, YouTube, Drive, etc.), and a lot of other details. There’s always the chance it may creep you out a little, though you always have to weigh the potential benefits that such data collection brings in the form of personalization against the cost of privacy loss.

my activity Google Dashboard

Peek into your dashboard to find out just how much information you’ve shared with Google.

To get started, head to Google Dashboard. Even if you’re already signed in to Chrome or on your Android device, you’ll need to re-enter your password and follow with two-step authentication procedures. Same goes if you opt to look at this on the desktop, which offers some advantages in being able to sort through items more quickly.

By default, all your activity is bundled together by day. You can expand this list and see individual items by the service you used. If you do a lot through Android and Chrome, you may find a staggering amount of detail, especially in regards to your web usage and search history. Putting all together in one place is a helpful visualization, and it may make you realize just how dependent you are on Google services.

You can delete items individually, by day, or you can opt for the nuclear option and completely wipe the slate clean.

delete activity Google My Activity

You can start over from scratch if you want to delete all your data.

There’s a separate link within the dashboard that takes you to other Google management tools, like your Play Music search history, device history, location history, and Google Takeout. The latter enables you to download any of your data for transfer to another service.

This story, "How to find out everything Google knows about you in the new My Activity dashboard" was originally published by Greenbot.

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