All the Ways Google Tracks You—And How to Stop It

All the Ways Google Tracks You—And How to Stop It

You're probably aware that Google keeps tabs on what you're up to on its devices, apps, and services—but you might not realize just how far its tracking reach extends, into the places you go, the purchases you make, and much more. It's an extensive set of data, but you can take more control over what Google collects about you and how long the company keeps it. Here's how.


It's worth emphasizing first that we're really dealing with two topics: The amount of data Google collects on you, which is a lot, and what Google then does with it. Google would say its data collection policies improve its services—helping you find a restaurant similar ones you've liked previously, say—whereas users might disagree.


A lot of the data we're going to talk about here is only visible to you, or used in a limited way to make ads more relevant to you. Ultimately, your choice is either to trust Google to use all this data responsibly (you can view the privacy policy here), not use Google services at all, or limit on the information it can gather about you. Since the first two are basically binary, we're going to focus on that third option.


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The best place to start taking control over Google's tracking habits is the