Next time, remain a bit careful when you place your medicine or any merchandise order online. Well, Google has been secretly keeping a track of almost every single online purchase you’ve ever made. It’s because of the purchase receipts or better be said invoices that are being sent to your personal Gmail account. Based on a new report from a leading news agency, this information is readily available to people via a private web tool. The tool has been active for an undefined amount of time.
Starting from purchase history to real-world transactions made through credit cards are stored in the Gmail account. However, Google stated that in order to view and track the purchases, bookings, and subscriptions – a platform or a tool has been created by them. The information can be deleted any time. Google stated that they don’t use any information from the Gmail messages of the user to present ads.
Gmail users can also delete the information from the Purchases webpage; however, it must be done individually for each of the recorded transactions. This distinct tool is not utterly bad in an obvious way, but it does underline Google’s attempt to clearly advertise its privacy policies and ad-tracking methods as Silicon Valley at large struggles with a more delicate atmosphere around data privacy and security. The idea that this tool, and the technology to gather and present the data it offers, has existed secretly without a majority of Gmail users being aware of its existence mirrors similar matters Google has faced over the past few years.
The presence of such purchase history tool that knows a frightening amount of user’s offline and online behavior extending back years, even being private, does not fit nicely with Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s view to reconstruct Google’s image.