Of course Google tracks your purchase history using Gmail


Yes Google collects purchase data, because it always has, and
that’s not all it collects.


CNBC seems to think it’s breaking some sort of news
in pointing
out the fact that Google uses Gmail to track your online purchase
history. The revelation comes from seeing a (relatively) new Google Account
page
that lets you view every purchase that Google has stored,
which rightfully bothers some who didn’t realize this was something
Google was collecting; or, at least in this much detail. While this
is a great PSA for people to be reminded that Google does keep
track of this sort of thing, it’s neither new nor particularly
surprising. Why? Because Google has always collected data from
Gmail, and not just purchases — it tracks everything, of
course.


When you look through the purchases listed in your Google Account
dashboard
, you’ll see a considerable amount of detail. The
retailer, order ID, data and time, shipping and arrival status
(where applicable), the item ordered, the delivery address … it’s
basically everything. You can even click through each one and see
the email that it pulled the data from. And yes, you can also
remove that purchase history from your
account.

The part that perhaps “scares” people about this purchase
collection is that in addition to data on your purchases through
Gmail, Google combines it with data from other sources — both its
own and from third parties — to get a more complete view of
everything you’re buying. Bridging the gap between online and
offline purchases is incredibly valuable to companies like Google
(what you bought informs what you may buy in the future — just
ask Amazon), so much so that it has
reportedly struck deals with payment processors like Mastercard

to link offline purchases to online advertising.

Before you get too freaked out about what Google knows from
Gmail, remember every company that already has this data.

Before you get too freaked out about what Google knows about
your purchase history, just think about all of the entities that
know all of your purchase history, no matter what email app you
use. Your bank and your credit card companies, of course. But also
every payment vendor (think Visa, Mastercard, Square, PayPal,
Google Pay, Amazon, etc.) you’ve ever used online either directly
or through a third-party retailer. And of course every
point-of-sale system your card has been swiped, inserted or tapped
to. Sure Google knows a whole lot about your purchase history. But
it isn’t alone — and honestly I think I trust Google to keep that
data and not do anything particularly nefarious with it far more
than I do many of the entities listed above.

Google of course deserves to be held to account for the fact
that it doesn’t make it particularly easy to manage this aggregated
purchase data in the way it does much of the other data the company
has. And there’s no way to outright stop this collection, even as
we’re only shortly removed from Google I/O,
where one emphasis of the main keynote was the importance of data
privacy and the ability to manage what Google knows about you.

It’s always a good idea to remind yourself of what data Google
collects through its various apps and services that you may use —
frequently or not. Google’s
account dashboard
has many tools to let you see, and manage,
this data. Knowledge of the situation and what this transaction
entails is the most important part of using free services. And
after learning about it, you don’t want that data collected, then
you can just as easily stop using Gmail.

Source: FS – Android
Of course Google tracks your purchase history using Gmail