Google uses Gmail to track your online purchases

Ruben Fields
May 20, 2019

However, none of these purchases was made directly from Google.

Google is quietly monitoring each and every buy you have made in years, because of procurement receipts sent to your own Gmail account. A Google spokesperson claims that the page is meant to provide users about their online purchases from the past.

Last week, Google's CEO Sundar Pichai wrote a New York Times op-ed that stated, "privacy can not be a luxury good". Google insists that the data on the Purchases page can only be seen by individuals, and is not used to tailor ads, but the clandestine, opaque nature of the tracking - coupled with the fact that the data is tricky to delete - is unlikely to go down well with Gmail users with concerns about privacy. While you find a "remove purchase" option attached to any purchase listed on the website, activating that option reveals that you need to delete the emails to remove purchases.

Google also tracks the purchases done through its services like Google Express and Google Play Store, as well as purchases done through its smart Assistant.

This story originally appeared on Cnet.

When I came to know about this, I was surprised to realize that Google remembered everything I bought.

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"To help you easily view and keep track of your purchases, bookings and subscriptions in one place, we've created a private destination that can only be seen by you".

In 2017, the tech monster said it would quit using information gathered from Gmail messages to personalize advertisements. It also includes some real-world transactions made using my credit card, thanks to point-of-sale software providers like Square and others that link your credit card number and name to an associated email account to deliver receipts, offer rewards programs, and, in some cases, collect valuable purchase data.

Google, however, did not say how long this web tool has been active. Purchases from third-party stores, such as the App Store, should show up as well provided a person's Apple account is linked to their Gmail. There is no way to delete them from Purchases without also deleting them from Gmail - when you click on the "Delete" option in Purchases, it simply guides you back to the Gmail message.

From Google.com, click on the "Settings" button in the lower right corner. "Google protects your privacy and security".

The transaction will only then disappear from your purchase history.

The company also says its looking into ways to further simplify its settings page.

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