Google reveals your online life with new Activity tool

29 Jun 2016

It’s fair to say Google knows more about you than perhaps anybody, or anything, else. Now you can find out the true extent of that knowledge with My Activity.

My Activity is a spritely-worded, cartoon figure-heavy tool that Google has rolled out for users to amaze at.

In simple terms, it is a log of your entire Google diary: where you visited on Google Chrome last November, what video you watched on YouTube on St Patrick’s Day, where you searched on Google Maps over Christmas.

A bit like the account history tool of old, this is a far more comprehensive account of your online world.

Google Apps collated into one history file

Google Apps collated into one history file

It’s all there. For example, at 9.30am on 14 June I was watching Men Without Hats – Safety Dance on YouTube. A Euro 2016 love-in, through abstract Euro 2012 nostalgia.

Assuming you’ve not opted out of certain tracking permissions on Google, now your search terms, image searches, Now cards, browsing history and everything in between are collated into one easily digestible, revealing tool.

The history is searchable, organised by date and you can even search by product, if that’s your thing. Maps is kept a little separate, but not entirely.

Google Apps collated into one history file

All searchable, this is a comprehensive log of your Google life

I use Firefox as a browser mostly, and my ‘Web and Activity’ monitoring is turned off, so my activity is quite bare when it comes to browsing terms.

But it might be worth popping on to Activity, logging in (you probably already are) and seeing just how much of your digital life is there to be searched.

My Activity Google

My eclectic music tastes…

While it might all be a bit much to digest at first, this is a handy way to keep track of what it is you’re happy Google can collect – after all, this is all fed into the machine that determines what you see on screen.

If you want to opt out of certain things, you can head into your account settings and start removing allowances.

Spy image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic