Part – 3 How to find and delete the data Google collects about you

Google shine pt. 3

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This is Part 3 of a 3 part series.

In Part 1 we discussed about How to find out what private information Google considers ‘public’, and How to take a look at Google’s record of your online activity.

In Part 2 we discussed How to access Google’s record of your location history

In Part 3 we will discuss How to manage your YouTube search and watch history

Of all the personal data that Google tracks, your YouTube search and watch history is probably the most innocuous. Not only that, allowing Google to track your YouTube history might have the most obvious benefit of all — it helps YouTube figure out what kind of videos you like so it can dish out more of the type of content you’ll enjoy.

But the bottom line is that it is tracking your viewing behaviors, recording them, and selling that data to others.

Here’s how to get a look at your YouTube history and, if you want, how to delete it, either manually or at three or 18-month intervals. Just like with Web & App Activity, we recommend setting YouTube to purge your data every three months. That’s just long enough that YouTube’s recommendations will stay fresh, but doesn’t leave a years-long trail of personal data lingering behind.

  1. Sign into your Google Account and choose Data & Personalization from the navigation bar.
  2. To see a list of all your YouTube data that Google has logged, scroll to Activity controls and select YouTube History.
  3. If you want Google to stop tracking your YouTube search and viewing history entirely, turn off the toggle on this page. To stop Google from tracking either just the videos you watch or just your searches, uncheck the appropriate box.
  4. To set Google to automatically delete your YouTube data either never or every three or 18 months, select Auto-deleteand pick the time frame you feel most comfortable with. Google will delete any current data older than the time frame you specify. For example, if you choose three months, any information older than three months will be deleted immediately.
  5. Once you choose an Auto-delete setting, a popup will appear and ask you to confirm. Select Deleteor Confirm.
  6. Next, click Manage Activity. This is where every search you make and every video you watch is listed.
  7. To delete specific days, select thetrash can icon to the right of the day then choose Got it. To get more specific details or to delete individual items, select the three stacked dots icon then choose either Delete or Details.
  8. If you’d rather delete part or all of your history manually, select the three stacked dots iconto the right of the search bar at the top of the page and choose Delete activity by then choose either Last hourLast dayAll time or Custom range.
  9. To make sure your YouTube data really disappeared, start over with Activity Controls in step 2, then after Manage Activity in step 4 make sure whatever’s there (if you deleted it all there should be nothing) only goes back the three or 18 months you selected in step 5.

For review, Part 1 discussed What private information Google considers ‘public’ and Google’s record of your online activity.

And in Part 2 we discussed How to access Google’s record of your location history.

Thank you for following this 3 part series.

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