How do I control the data that Google stores about me?

The search engine has a Supplied tools to set security preferences of all its services

Google is aware that there are still“misconceptions” about what to do with personal data, but more than that confusion, which considered “frustrating” is that users do not use existing controls to manage their privacy and security on the network.

“People doubted, he wondered ‘what data Google keeps about me?’ and build tools to show it , to provide transparency and give control to the user. It ‘s very frustrating not used , “he explains in an interview with Efe the head of Google engineering center in Munich, Wieland Holfelder.


Holfelder leads the team of 400 engineers who created “My Account” panel centralized management from which can be set “very easily” security preferences and privacy of all Google services, including Gmail and Google Maps.

There you can manage the level of protection for each account , with options such as identity verification in two steps, recovery via mobile number or encryption using physical – keys and determine what data is shared with the technology.

You can also delete all the data or download them to transfer to a competitor service and establish what is done with an account in the event that the user does not connect in a given period of time.

“People are not aware that these tools exist. It is a challenge to increase user awareness and avoid confusion. There is a lot of misconception about what happens to the data that Google stores , ” he laments.

Holfelder explains that Google is keeping information safe, but appeals to individual responsibility to make the Internet a safer network.

“95% of Internet security incidents could be prevented with existing technology, according to a report by the Federal Office of Security in Information Technology in Germany. It is a huge figure. (…) Users must be account to be part of this ecosystem comes responsibility, “he reflects.

“It’s like driving a car: you understand that you have a responsibility because if you do it wrong, you can cause harm to others. If you do not protect your account, you can harm others if someone appropriates it, you become a source of. ‘malware’ “he continues.

inadequate passwords

The chief engineer noted that 76% of the problems of compromised accounts are derived from weak passwords.

“Criminals are not interested in emails you send, but to spread malicious code , ” insists the director, who believes that to check the security of accounts should be a habit annual “as it is going to thedentist.”

Holfelder stresses the importance of having different passwords for each Internet service ( “because you do not know who manages and how the system technology flower shop on the corner) and enable verification in two steps (to confirm identity the mobile).

The expert says that even with the existing security technology, could do without having to remember and enter passwords on different internet services.

“Many people do not care about security simply because it involves an effort and if it has never happened anything why should they work to strengthen your account settings , ” said in a meeting with reporters product manager for Google Munich, Andreas türk.

The location of your engineering team involved in the security tools and privacy of Google is no coincidence: Germany is a country with a deep awareness of the importance of the protection of personal data.

“Being exposed to such dilemmas and debates has helped us to better understand what privacy means. We like to think that from here have had an impact on how Google understands and manages personal data” argues Holfelder.

The manager stressed that user trust is key to the technology: “if violence that covenant,automatically we would be out of business .. Once you lose confidence, you can not win again I think we’ve demonstrated that our commitment to safety and privacy is very strong. ”

So why still distrust about how technology manages the personal data?
” We do not sell data to anyone. (…) I think most people trust us who do not are a minority who simply speaks very strong” sentence.


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