Google tracks a lot of what you buy, even if you purchased it elsewhere, like in a store or from Amazon.
Last week, CEO Sundar Pichai wrote a New York Times op-ed that said “privacy cannot be a luxury good.” But behind the scenes, Google is still collecting a lot of personal information from the services you use, such as Gmail, and some of it can’t be easily deleted.
A page called “Purchases ” shows an accurate list of many — though not all — of the things I’ve bought dating back to at least 2012. I made these purchases using online services or apps such as Amazon, DoorDash or Seamless, or in stores such as Macy’s, but never directly through Google.
But because the digital receipts went to my Gmail account, Google has a list of info about my buying habits.
Google even knows about things I long forgot I’d purchased, like dress shoes I bought inside a Macy’s store on Sept. 14, 2015. It also knows:
- I ordered a Philly cheesesteak on a hoagie roll with Cheez Whiz and banana peppers on Jan. 14, 2016.
- I reloaded my Starbucks card in November 2014.
- I bought a new Kindle on Dec. 18, 2013, from Amazon.
- I bought “Solo: A Star Wars Story” from iTunes on Sept. 14, 2018.
And so on.
Take a look at this sample, which covers some things I bought within the last week: