See what Google knows about you; you won't like it
Most of us have used at least one of Google's products and services. And most of us have wondered how much the tech giant knows about us. The company is known for tracking and collecting tons of information about us. So, how can we see what Google knows about us? Google itself has a solution for that - Takeout.
What is Google Takeout?
Google Takeout is a tool developed by an in-house team called Google Data Liberation Front. The tool can be used for several things, including creating an archive of your contacts and images. However, the primary use case of Takeout is to discover what data of yours Google holds. With Google Takeout, you can download the data Google has.
Takeout can be used by businesses or individuals
Google Takeout is often used by businesses or organizations. However, it's not exclusive to big organizations. Considering the number of services and products the company offers, you are bound to find something belonging to yours there. Now, depending on the size of the zip file, you may or may not have reasons to worry about how you handle your data.
It helps migrate data to a different platform or account
Showing us what Google knows about us isn't Google Takeout's only purpose. It can also help migrate your data if you decide to switch to a Google alternative. Forget about moving on from Google. What if you want to delete your Gmail ID but do not want to lose the data? Google Takeout makes all that fairly easy.
Google keeps data from 49 sources
Now, let's take a look at what data Google keeps on you. If you go to the Takeout homepage (https://takeout.google.com/), you'll see a list of 49 different sources of data that you can choose to export. This includes data from familiar products such as Gmail, Drive, Photos, Pay, and YouTube, location history, log activity, and cloud search, among others.
How to use Google Takeout?
To use Google Takeout, you have to be signed in to your Google account. No surprises there. Now, choose the data you want to export. In the next step, you can select the frequency you want Takeout to back up your data, file type, and size. Then press 'Create export.' Once the file is created, you can unzip the data.
Google Takeout offers data in multiple formats
Before you download the data, there are some pointers you should remember. With certain categories of data, you will have the option to change the format. For instance, you will be able to export Google Docs data as DOCX or PDF. Similarly, if you're working for an organization and want to use Takeout, you may want to have a word with the Workspace admin.