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How to Find Out Some of what Google Knows About YOU!


wa_desert_rat

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We've all heard the talk about how Google knows everything about us. Maybe it's true; Maybe it's not true. But there is, at least, a way to find out what Google knows about you from your search patterns.

 

http://www.itworld.com/article/2911941/data-privacy/how-to-download-an-archive-that-shows-what-google-knows-about-you.html?phint=newt%3Ditworld_today&phint=idg_eid%3Dafbdce93df1132e5de07d306edf23bac#tk.ITWNLE_nlt_best_2015-04-23

 

I'm trying it out.... but I'm not telling anyone the results. :P

 

WDR

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On Edit, never mind! I read the rest of the instructions from Google and the .JSON files are just text, so open them with any text editor! Note to self: Read all the instructions not just the first few lines.

 

OK! I guess I am pretty stupid. I can't figure out how to see the data. All I wind up with are files with a .JSON (dot JSON) extension and I don't know how to open them. I did get the email from Google and went to the link, downloaded and extracted the zip files, but they all end in .JSON.

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Now that I have downloaded and looked at the files, what is so important? I just see a listing of searches I have made in the last 8 years.

 

I search lots of stuff, RV Parks, National Parks, definitions and spelling of words, financial institutions, etc, etc, etc.

 

In Firefox & I assume other browsers there is an option to turn off saving the searches, which I assume will keep Google from saving the info. Or do they save it anyway?

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Now that I have downloaded and looked at the files, what is so important? I just see a listing of searches I have made in the last 8 years.

 

I search lots of stuff, RV Parks, National Parks, definitions and spelling of words, financial institutions, etc, etc, etc.

 

In Firefox & I assume other browsers there is an option to turn off saving the searches, which I assume will keep Google from saving the info. Or do they save it anyway?

I suspect that Google saves searches unless you are using an "incognito" browser window. But I really was expecting to see more data. That's why I posted a "never mind" afterwards.

 

It would probably be better if we could get that data from NSA as I expect it might be more complete.

 

WDR

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I went and downloaded my searches from Google and looked at them. I then deleted them from Google. I went back and downloaded the file again and there was nothing in it. So, evidently, the delete procedure is legitimate. Here is the instructions I used https://www.yahoo.com/tech/heres-how-to-download-and-delete-what-google-117031199754.html

 

Of course, if you use Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia, or one of the dozens of other search engines, they are still storing your searches.

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I went and downloaded my searches from Google and looked at them. I then deleted them from Google. I went back and downloaded the file again and there was nothing in it. So, evidently, the delete procedure is legitimate. Here is the instructions I used https://www.yahoo.com/tech/heres-how-to-download-and-delete-what-google-117031199754.html

 

Of course, if you use Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia, or one of the dozens of other search engines, they are still storing your searches.

Thanks for that information. Knowing that we can delete historical search data from G is a good thing.

 

The Google engineer who was lost on Everest during that earthquake was apparently heavily involved in privacy protection. :(

http://www.itworld.com/article/2914686/it-management/everest-avalanche-kills-privacy-focused-google-engineer-dan-fredinburg.html#tk.ITWNLE_nlt_today_2015-04-27

 

But knowing G has people focused on privacy is a good thing.

 

WDR

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

 

In Firefox & I assume other browsers there is an option to turn off saving the searches, which I assume will keep Google from saving the info. Or do they save it anyway?

 

I think the searches are saved as long as you are logged into your Google account when performing the search. I use Chrome and happen to like the convenience of coordinated searches on my laptop and my phone. If I use my computer to search for something my phone already knows what I've been looking for and is ready to give me directions to it.

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I think the searches are saved as long as you are logged into your Google account when performing the search. I use Chrome and happen to like the convenience of coordinated searches on my laptop and my phone. If I use my computer to search for something my phone already knows what I've been looking for and is ready to give me directions to it.

I agree with this completely. Plus I've found that the "memory leak" on Firefox is so annoying that I've almost completely stopped using it.

 

I've also noticed that the analytics application that I use (Piwik) on the web sites I own (or admin) indicate that Google indexes far more than any of the other search engines (including Bing) and visitors to my sites from Google searches far outnumber visitors from any other search sites.

 

WDR

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Google's spiders are definitely more prevalent that other search engines. I have found using META tags helps a great deal when raising search awareness. The other is to ensure any linked page also contains the meta tags. Having a spider friendly site with the bots text file can greatly improve SEO without having to plop bucks to some commercial company.

 

Unfortunately, I've discovered once you find a mother-in-law, you can't unfind her.

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