With more than 1.5 billion active users across the globe, Google Mail or Gmail certainly holds a lion’s share in the world of free email service. However, while setting up a Google Account, most users tend to overlook a few critical points.
This is how the process of setting up a new user starts and the screen where Google holds up the information in a way that users fail to notice it and Google starts the perennial system of gathering user data, of course with the opt-in from the user. The amount of data is certainly more than what a user would have allowed for or would have preferred for.
First Screen – An individual selects a username and password. Upon checking the availability, Google takes you to the next screen.
Second Screen – It asks for a few additional and optional pieces of information including phone number, recovery email address, birth date and gender.
Third Screen – The Most Critical Screen of them all. This is where the Privacy and Terms are listed. It lets you know the data that Google processes when once uses Google and its services like search, writing a message in Gmail, video one watches on YouTube, searching in Google Maps. It also gathers and processes information like your device ID, IP address, cookie data and location.
It also lets one know why it does what it does. Upon scrolling down a bit more on this screen, the blue coloured “I Agree” button shows up and in the hurry of finishing the account setup, most users click on it and it takes one straight to the inbox. However, if one were to scroll down a bit more, the MORE OPTIONS in blue coloured fonts shows up, which when clicked lists a few more options which are as under:
Now looking at the screens, it can be easily made out that given a choice users would make selections basis their preference rather than Google continuing with auto selections. Ideally and recommended preference should be given to:
-Don’t save my Web & App Activity in my Google Account
-Show me ADs that aren’t personalized
-Don’t save my YouTube History in my Google Account
The only option that has been set as Don’t Save is one’s Location History, which is ok.
So if one desires to have a clean inbox, it is advisable to select and unselect as per user’s choice rather than leaving it to Google. Interestingly though, even after applying all the settings, there is no guarantee that Google would not gather information. Not everything may have been made visible by the service provider.