This could be your worst nightmare or maybe an eye-opening event. Now that the preverbal cat is out of the bag, more and more people are starting to wonder what social media companies collect about you and your behaviors. It’s odd that Facebook came to the forefront when Google is really the one for years that basically has learned more about you than your mother.
With all of the searches you have done on Google, the videos you viewed on YouTube, and the other Google integrations, wouldn’t you like to know exactly what Google knows about your history? As the most profitable and successful online advertising company in the world, getting to know the exact profile of its users so it can help advertisers find the right customers is the mainstay of the Google platform. When I grew up, if you didn’t know something, you looked in the Encyclopedia, whereas, kids today just say “Google it!”. Here are the steps to download a copy of your Google history. WARNING: This could take you days!
STEP 1: Go to takeout.google.com
You’ll see a screen pop up where you can begin the process to start downloading your data.
STEP 2: Select Your Data To Include In The History Search
Google has 33 touchpoints where they may have extracted data from you over time. Obviously, the biggest one you will likely be interested in is searches, but don’t forget that you may have Gmail, used Google Maps, or even use Google Hangouts. All of these are potential touchpoints for Google to collect data on you.
Step 3: Click NEXT
Step 4: Determine How You Will Create Your Archive
Google offers several file formats, file sizes, and delivery options of files. You just need to choose what methodology you want to get the files. The process could take a few hours to a few days depending on your history, the number of products you want for downloads, etc.
Step 5: Wait For Download
You’ll be notified when the download is completed and then you can begin deciphering the data and figure out exactly what Google knows about you. Do you really want to know?