See how much Google knows about you

New tools have been rolling out by Google lately and the next is to allow users to understand what its ad-tracking service has learned about them. The new account setting, called ‘My Activity’ lets users review everything Google has tracked about their behaviour using search, Google Chrome, YouTube and Android. However, users can opt out of this new personalised ads service and edit or delete at each step.

If like many of us, Google is your main port of call for search enquiries, you may find that Google has a large collection of data about your internet usage.

At the moment, Google uses your information to tailor ads across its own services. However, the new My Activity tool now allows you to opt out with the new ad preferences.

The new feature offers to use user’s behavioural information to tailor ads seen further than just Google search pages. Previously solely done using cookies, the new offer coud reach non-Google internet too.

The main difference of this service is the active need for the user to opt-in to the service. If the feature is not enabled, users will not automatically have the benefits of the new tool.

How do you use this tool?

You can switch on two different behavioural advert settings. One is signed in ads for those using Google services and the other is signed out ads, for those using Google’s third-party sites.

To make the ads a bit more attractive for users, features for users include the ability to ‘mute’ particular adverts that may not be for products they are looking for.

For those that are not keen on Google knowing our usage, you will probably choose not to opt in for even greater profiling. To turn off both signed in and signed out ads, there is a Chrome extension that permanently allows you to opt out.

When will this be available?

Google users should receive a privacy notification and security change notification soon which will give users more information about the new tool. Although you may not see them yet, the new tool is currently rolling out and will be available to all users eventually.