Gmail is currently the most-used email service. However, do you know how Google tracks and use your data? Here’s how to keep your data safe.
Gmail is one of the most popular online services offered by Google. Actually, it is currently the most used email platform across the globe since people find it safer when it comes to sensitive data security. Right now, most people are already aware of the cookies offered by various Google online services.
These cookies are used by Google and other giant platforms to track users so that they can send their personal data to various advertising organizations and companies. If you don/t have any idea how Google tracks your personal data.
How Google Tracks Your Data in Its Email Tool?
Gmail tracks your information and shares then with various advertisers. This data is called metadata. But if you carry cookies from other Google services, your activity can be correlated or “fingerprinted” from associated products such as Google Maps and YouTube. Rowenna Fielding, the founder of privacy consultancy Miss IG Geek, said that Google’s email tool “becomes a window into your entire online life because of how wide and deep their surveillance architecture goes. Practically everything you do online will feedback to Google”
Although this is the case, Google claimed that all the personal user information collected by Gmail for purchase information, delivery tracking numbers, and flight bookings are used for advertising. However, Andy Yen, founder and CEO of secure email service ProtonMail, confirmes that “it remains a fact that Google keeps a record of these events and logs them regardless.”
He added that there are some issues that Google is still experiencing that make its Gmail, not 100% secure to use. He said that Part of the problem is a lack of regulatory enforcement around email data collection and tracking. Most people are becoming aware of tracking as they visit websites due to regulations such as the EU’s ePrivacy Directive and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
What You Need to Do?
Since Gmail is not 100% safe to use, you need to do some safety measures so that your information will still be secured. Since Google’s email tool is still criticized, there are some users that are considering leaving this email platform.
If you don’t want to do this, you could consider a provider such as ProtonMail to email others using a similarly protected service, or Signal, which ensures the communication is end-to-end encrypted on both sides.
On the other hand, if you are unconcerned about this popular email service’s data-slurping habits, you may revise your opinion after using its privacy checkup function to review the tranche of data it holds about you. There are, however, lots of options to restrict the data that their services collect about you. In addition, Fielding recommends blocking online trackers across other Google services with tools including Privacy Badger or Ghostery.
If you are using an iPhone, you can lock down email service even further by avoiding Google’s app and sticking to Apple’s own Mail client, or by opening your email via the Safari browser.