How much does Google really know about you?

In case you were wondering what goods Google has on you check out http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/ from the browser you typically use for web browsing and search. If you scroll down you’ll see what interests Google has you pegged for and get to see the data they have collected on you in your cookie.

For me the most interesting part wasn’t the data they had on me, but looking through the Google interests taxonomy at the bottom of the page.  There are specific tags for individual car brands, for your love of Bollywood movies, pest control, screensavers, etc. It’s an interesting glimpse into how Google thinks about the world (and more importantly into what categories Google thinks it can make money by trafficking).

  • That is nothing – Google has your IP address. If you also use GMail, it has the content of every email you send and receive – including that of corporate or business accounts configured to work through GMail.

    If you tie into this equation Google Analytics, which is used by millions of websites, Google now has your IP tied to content of your emails and tied to many websites you visit plus your surfing habits in them. The 'ad preferences' settings is peanuts compared to the wealth of information Google has over your online habits.

    I wrote about this a while back http://the.firehou.se/2006/09/04/google-dont-be-e