Tech

According to Google, Here’s What You Were Thinking a Decade Ago

And how to delete all these memories.
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You might find amusing that ten years ago, you opened YouTube and watched Black & White Heads On Nose 12 times in a single day. That’s probably information you’d prefer not to share with your friends at the office, but Google has them all on record, even your teeniest curiosities that led you to google “What happens if you swallowed or inhaled objects?

Probably a lot of people don’t realize Google is recording not only your activities across its services (Chrome, Google Play, Gmail), but also everything that’s synced with your Google Account: How many times you opened Netflix, all games you play on mobile, how many times you opened Facebook yesterday, and yes, it also records your porn-watching habits, even if these are done in Chrome’s incognito mode.

Reddit user u/ThaRoastKing started a thread on the website that suggests you see what you were thinking ten years ago, based on Google’s records. The amount of data saved on Google’s servers blew our mind.

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To see your records, just go to Google My Activity. If your phone is synced with your Google Account, you will also be surprised to see that Google is also recording how many times and at what times you use your phone’s camera and all your apps.

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Filter the results by date and year from January 2009 to January 2010 to see what you were thinking of in the last decade.

 

Why is Google keeping track of your activities?

According to Google, My Activity is a central place to view and manage activity like searches you've done, websites you've visited, and videos you've watched. All your activities are saved when you’re signed in to your Google Account.

This becomes useful when you perform searches, which tend to be tailor fitted for you based on your recorded activities and patterns of behavior. This also affects the types of ads you see on your browser, which are ads that are programmed according to your profile.

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Have you ever borrowed another person’s phone and noticed how it feels so different when you surf or perform searches on Chrome, YouTube, and Google? That’s because Google’s algorithm is patterned after the other person’s activities and habits. But of course, you can delete all this data if you want to.

How to delete your activities from Google My Activity

There are two ways to delete your data from Google My Activity. The first is by doing it individually and manually, and the second is by deleting all activity you ever made. Here are the steps on how to delete your Google activities, according to Google.

How to Delete All Activity

Step 1: On your computer or mobile device, go to your Google Account.

Step 2: On the top left navigation panel, click Data & personalization.

Step 3: Under Activity and timeline, click My Activity.

Step 4: At the top right of the page, click the three vertical dots.

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Step 5: Click Delete activity by.

Step 6: Below Delete Activity, click All time.

Step 7: Click Delete.

 

How to Delete Individual Items

Step 1: On your computer or mobile device, go to your Google Account.

Step 2: On the top left navigation panel, click Data & personalization.

Step 3: Under "Activity and timeline," click My Activity.

Step 4: Find the item you want to delete. You can filter these in two ways:

  • Browse by topic or product. At the top, under "Delete by topic or product," click Try it.
  • Search by keyword or date.

Step 5: On the item you want to delete, click the three vertical dots.

Step 6:  Click Delete.

 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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