Can’t remember when you went to that new Thai place? Google can. In fact, it can even tell you the precise time you searched the address, which route you took to get there and what YouTube videos you watched on the way.
Spooky, sure. Surprising?
It's no secret that Google knows a hell of a lot about us. But precisely what they know isn't a secret either. In fact, if you've got an active Google account you can find out right now.
Login, head to myaccount.google.com, click on "Personal info & privacy" and brace yourself. Here's what you'll find.
Google can record everything you've searched.
It's shouldn't really a big shocker that Google tracks your searches. But we were a tinsy bit disturbed when we clicked into "Your searches and browsing history".
The results are filtered by date and when rummaging through we came across a frightening little drop-down option labelled "all time". Yes, it means exactly what you think it means. Every little "how to cook..." and "weird rash on my..." you've ever typed into your search bar is neatly itemised for you.
Want to erase all evidence? We thought so. Just click on the three vertical dots on the top right-hand corner of your screen and select "Delete options".
Ever used voice search? You can listen to them all.
This one is particularly terrifying. Google can keep a recording of every "Okay Google" voice search you've ever made. If for some curious reason you want to listen to them, go ahead and select “Manage Activity” under “Activity Controls.”
Thankfully, the default for this setting is generally "off", but it's worth double-checking. Just in case.
Google knows where you've been.
If you have location services enabled on your phone or tablet, Google knows all the places you've used your device. Yep, everywhere you've gone, Google has gone with you.
To track your travel, scroll down to "Places you go" and click "Manage activity". From there you can trace your footsteps by year, month and even down to an individual day.
Been somewhere you shouldn't have? You can delete your location history for any given day or even wipe the whole lot. Just click on the "Settings" icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the map.
Google can tell you everything you've watched on YouTube.
Cat videos. Epic fails. Movie trailers. There all there. Every video you've ever searched on YouTube is itemised by Google for your re-viewing pleasure.
They're even listed by date and time, so you can finally confront your late-night pregnancy-announcement-video addiction.
Just click on the "Videos you search for on YouTube" icon and voilà.
Google can guess your age.
If you scroll down the "Personal Info" you'll see "Ads settings". Go ahead and click to see what Google has worked out about your age, your gender and your various interests.
This uses a whole host of info, including search history, to develop a rough profile about you so that Google can deliver appropriate ads.
If you think you've been wildly misunderstood, you can go right ahead and adjust any of the details to reflect your true self.
Computing use to be a lot simpler. And a lot less terrifying.
Sure, all this data that Google is gathering is designed to create a better user experience, to help tailor search results specifically for you.
But if you're unsettled by the though of Google knowing about your monthly visits to the proctologist, then it's worth investigating your account settings.