My Activity on Google

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by timeconsumer, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. timeconsumer, Jan 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017

    timeconsumer macrumors 65816

    timeconsumer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Portland
    #1
    I'm not sure if this is common knowledge around here as I've been an Android user for only about 2.5 months but I've recently stumbled on: https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity which displays basically everything I've done on my Pixel since I've received it.

    This includes:
    -Audio recordings and transcripts of every "OK Google" voice command.
    -Each app I've used and time stamps of when I used those apps.
    -Each search I've done in the Play Store and apps I've viewed from the Play Store.
    -Every location I've gone to.

    Fortunately, there are options to disable a lot of these. If you navigate to "Activity Controls" from the menu, you can disable:

    • Web & App Activity (Save your search activity on apps and in browsers to make searches faster and get customized experiences in Search, Maps, Now, and other Google products.)
    • Location History (Creates a private map of where you go with your signed-in devices in order to provide improved map searches, commute routes, and more)
    • Device Information (Store your contacts, calendars, apps, and other device data to improve your experience across Google.)
    • Voice & Audio Activity (Help recognize your voice and improve speech recognition by storing your voice and audio inputs to your account (for example, when you say "Ok Google" to do a voice search))
    • YouTube Search History (Store your YouTube searches to make your future searches faster and improve your recommendations.)
    • YouTube Watch History (Make it easier to find your recently watched videos on YouTube and improve your recommendations.)

    Additional Notes: If you like using "OK Google" you cannot disable the Voice & Audio Activity as that will no longer allow "OK Google" to work.

    I'm not sure how I feel about this, but does anybody know if Apple retains the same information? I know that they have a "Frequent locations" but I'm fairly certain that information stays on the device only and does not get sent to Apple. I never used Siri (aside from initial testing and the very very random use) when I was an iPhone user as I didn't find Siri to be very good. But Google Assistant seems to work great and does things much faster than I could manually do so I find myself using it 5-10 times per day. I find it a little creepy that they have saved these audio recordings of everything that I've used "OK Google" for. I appreciate that Google does give us the option to delete this history, but who knows if Google is keeping this data while just "hiding" it from our view.
     
  2. GalaDaliGirl macrumors regular

    GalaDaliGirl

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    #2
    Of course Apple and all other major tech companies catalog every single move and letter typed. We have forsaken all of our privacy.

    There is privacy as long as you hold a smartphone in your hand.

    Facebook is really the worst from what I can tell. The suggestion of friends that simply text me is an egregious invasion of my privacy.

    All of a sudden last week my boss' face appeared in my feed as a suggested friend. This is outrageous that Facebook literally pulls my data without any impunity.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation is pretty much irrelevant.

    Sad.
     
  3. Suckfest 9001 macrumors 65816

    Suckfest 9001

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    I've looked through my activities. Jesus, that's creepy. Every single voice instruction ever is saved on their servers, seemingly indefinitely.
     
  4. GalaDaliGirl macrumors regular

    GalaDaliGirl

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    #4
    There is no privacy in this new world of ours.

    None.
     
  5. timeconsumer thread starter macrumors 65816

    timeconsumer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Portland
    #5
    Thanks for the reply, I believe Facebook requires access to your contacts. Assuming you have your boss in your phone contacts that is probably why it made the connection in this scenario. I don't use Facebook as I don't expect any level of privacy from Facebook whatsoever, and I try to avoid social media as much as possible.

    I do appreciate that Google is more transparent in that they give me access to what they have on me, but I think it's a bit convoluted on how to get these settings unless you know specifically where to go.

    Yes, I thought it was creepy as well, glad I am not the only one. I've deleted all of mine and I think I'll make it a weekly task to login there to delete these.
     
  6. GalaDaliGirl macrumors regular

    GalaDaliGirl

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    #6
    Nope. My boss is NOT in my contacts. He is only in an old text. With no name attached to it.

    Further proof that Facebook looks at all of our communications without our consent. Facebook looks at every URL you have visited, text, email you have on your phone.

    No one cares.

    I know.

    It's beyond evil.
     
  7. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #7
    Well, it's not really proof as much as supposition given that it doesn't seem like it's knwon (so far) what actually prompted it to happen.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 16, 2017 ---
    Is there information somewhere that shows that essentially everything we use tracks essentially everything we do? Or basically just an overly generalized rhetorical type of statement?
     
  8. timeconsumer, Jan 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017

    timeconsumer thread starter macrumors 65816

    timeconsumer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Portland
    #8
    Looking at the Facebook app permissions that it requires, it's difficult to pinpoint if it's using an algorithm of some sort or if it did in fact use your SMS/text data (it does require this permission based on the permissions listed from the Google Play Store). Still, quite creepy and definitely a bit invasive. I'd say it's not that nobody cares, it's that what are people going to do? A lot of people use (at the very least) Facebook messenger; people seem to think I'm crazy when I tell them that I do not have it. By not having it, I definitely miss out on a lot. A lot of families use Facebook for communication/sharing of photos, students use Facebook for group projects, local neighborhoods use Facebook for local events and I've even heard of Facebook being used for work communication (not that I agree with this, but it is what it is). I think we're paying for the convenience of this free usage with our data/information and Facebook is a powerhouse when it comes to collecting data on their users, that's for sure.

    To bring this back into a discussion of the Google activity page, it doesn't seem like there's a good alternative (outside of Google or Apple) but I'd say it looks like Apple is likely to be the lesser of the evils. Although I have my reasons as to why I went with an Android phone, so I suppose these are the consequences, at least I know I can login and delete those entries.
     
  9. MRU Suspended

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Other
    #9
    You can delete. Just choose delete by topic or product and choose 'all time' from the drop down option.

    Rocket science it is not ;)

    shot1.jpeg shot2.jpeg
     
  10. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #10
    Of course we have. Privacy has been thrown to the wayside by our desires for conveneience and cheapness.

    Facebook analyzes everything about you and everything about your friends, co-workers, etc. It doesn't take much for the algorithms to deduce your boss.

    Why are you so offended? When consumers use free products/services, the aren't the user, they are, themselves, the products being sold.
     
  11. GalaDaliGirl macrumors regular

    GalaDaliGirl

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    #11
    Facebook has no right to know who sends me texts.

    If you disagree with that then you're just someone that has no regard for your privacy.

    But like I said repeatedly it doesn't matter. They have total control over your phone. Just read the first few pages of the Messenger user agreement. It's despicable.

    Keep on defending them.
     
  12. dsr2 macrumors regular

    dsr2

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    #12
    Glad I saw this post. Just went in and deleted my history going back to 2010 and turned off all google tracking.
     
  13. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #13
    Out of respect for @timeconsumer 's thread, I'm bowing out here, but PM sent.
     
  14. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #14
    Creepy when I look at product on Amazon, then see it on a web page ad in Ghostery, let alone Chrome.

    I stopped using FB/Messenger a year ago. Won't let Twitter read or sync my contacts. But Facebook owns IG. And guess that's more of same.

    And worrying about cross platform tracking and supercookies is impossible to avoid.

    I always thought Facebook must be a pretty front end ruse and must be funded or backed by NSA with how we're all 6-degrees Kevin Bacon.
     
  15. sunking101 macrumors 603

    sunking101

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #15
    At least Google are up-front with their snooping, I fully believe that Apple do it too but yeah of course I don't like it. I've said before on these forums that smartphones are pure gold for Big Brother....and we even pay 100% of the costs for the privilege of letting them spy on us.
     
  16. vikingjunior macrumors 65816

    vikingjunior

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    #16
    Now this is a useful thread I had no idea but at least Google is transparent about it and lets you delete and disable. God only knows what Apple is keeping and like Apple there is no settings to opt out.
     
  17. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #17
    So it's known that Apple is keeping all that similar data?
     
  18. hallux macrumors 68030

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #18
    This is why I don't use Facebook Messenger, it's never been on my phone and never will be.
     
  19. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
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    Location:
    A Natural State
    #19
    Conspiracy theorists abound.

    Additionally, there's an absolutely gargantuan gap between information being kept on a phone and being sent back to HQ for ad services.
     
  20. sunking101 macrumors 603

    sunking101

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #20
    Positively everything I search for on Google or Amazon suddenly shows in adverts everywhere.
     
  21. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #21
    I am, admittedly, a noob, but how does that pertain to Apple and your information?
     
  22. GalaDaliGirl macrumors regular

    GalaDaliGirl

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    #22
    It just goes to show that your phone is wide open to all of the communication on it to apps that you install.

    No one cares about this loss of privacy.

    Any major company or business that has users on iPhone with Facebook and Messenger installed is giving out egregiously personal information.

    But again, no one cares. What they do not know does not hurt them.

    Would you give your email and phone password to a worker at Facebook?

    You already have as long as you have those apps on your phone.

    Nobody cares about this topic but I sure do because it's disgusting to me that Facebook looks at my texts from my boss and now suggests him as a friend. Does anyone not see the horribly egregious act of this?

    Why oh why does Facebook have the right to know who I text?

    Again. No one cares. Just keep posting our baby pics and family photos. We are becoming bigger and bigger idiots.
     
  23. sunking101 macrumors 603

    sunking101

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #23
    It doesn't, that's more of a Google/Amazon thing.
     
  24. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #24
    How is it known that Facebook is doing this?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 17, 2017 ---
    It's generally more of a cookie type of thing (and ad networks), which has been around for a long time really.
     
  25. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #25
    How does the FBI know you bought three pressure cookers, ammonium, large quantities of peroxide, etc?

    GPS, metadata, putting in a switch to all web and ATT traffic. Comparing who has your phone number and email address in their contacts and building

    TOTAL TIA https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_Awareness_Office
     

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