Did you know that Google keeps tabs on how you interact with its services? While people have known that Google remembers and logs what you search for, many people don’t realise that they also have eyes on your Android device as well. Some people may be surprised to learn that Google can actually record app activity on your phone, logging what app you used and when!
Thankfully, all this information isn’t behind closed doors. By using My Activity, you can see what Google is keeping tabs on and can even tell Google not to track specific things. If you’d rather Google didn’t record app activity on your phone, you can use My Activity to turn this off.
What Is Logged?
How much of your app usage does Google log? As it turns out, there’s not a great deal of information stored. It can tell when you’ve opened WhatsApp, for instance, but it won’t log every message you’ve sent via the app. The extent of the logs includes the name of the app, the date and time the app was opened, what operating system it was on, and what device was used to run it.
Google claims the main reason for these logs is to give you a better personalized experience. For example, if Google sees you enjoy a lot of adventure games, it may show you ads for adventure games while you browse the web. Regardless, some people don’t appreciate this, either because they disagree with having their data used this way, or they simply don’t trust Google’s ulterior motives behind the logging!
Who Can Access These Logs?
These logs aren’t made available to the public; only you can see them on your “My Activity” page. As such, you have no need to worry about people using the information in these logs against you in any way. They won’t appear in Google searches, and people can’t access them by searching your email or mobile number.
How Do I View What’s Logged?
If you want to take a look at what Google has logged for your app usage, you can do so with a My Activity search with only the “Android” category selected. This will then give you a rundown of everything Google knows about your Android usage, including apps and web searches. If you click the “Details” button below each item, you can see all the information that was gathered when you used the app.
How Can I Turn It Off?
If you’ve taken a look and decided that you’d rather not have Google record app activity, turning it off is very easy. From the main My Activity page, click “Activity Controls.”
Find the “Web & App Activity” toggle switch, and set it to the off position.
Google will now stop tracking app activity on your phone.
What Else Is Being Tracked?
Now that you’ve turned off Web & App Activity, you may be interested to see what else Google knows about you. You can see all the details on the main view page of My Activity, which includes Google searches and websites you visited. Again, these can be turned off with their respective options as you did with app activity.
Keeping Track of Tracking
Google likes to keep tabs on how you use its services, and it’s possible to see what they’re learning about you via the My Activity site. Now you know how to see what’s being logged and how to stop Google from tracking you should you not want certain things being recorded.
Do you trust Google with your data? Let us know below!