Published: Mon, May 20, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Gmail now trails all your purchases, you can't stop it.

Gmail now trails all your purchases, you can't stop it.

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

In news that will come as no surprise to anyone who's been paying attention, CNBC reports on a list of your purchases managed by Google, pulled from email receipt data in your Gmail account.

Last week, CEO Sundar Pichai wrote a New York Times op-ed that said "privacy can not be a luxury good".

Google maintains a separate page "Purchases" where you can see the list of all products you have bought in the past and Google has tracked and stored the information about.

Here's the link to the page (you have to be logged in): Google told Gizmodo that it is possible to opt out of tracking your purchases, but it's on another settings page.

You can also stop Google from using your shopping information, although it will prevent Google Assistant from knowing when your packages are due to arrive.

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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", a Google spokesperson told CNBC. Even more problematic than that is that purchase information is still collected even if you disable any tracking feature on the My Activity website.

Privacy has become a mantra for Google, but in the meantime the company is collecting baskets of personal information on each Gmail user as well as other services such as search.

But there isn't an easy way to remove all of this. Click on that and you will be taken directly to the email receipt for the purchase found in your Gmail inbox. You will have to delete the information one by one, and that too by going back to the source email and deleting it. Hectic! You could even buy something IRL, and had that company emailed you a receipt, it'd be automatically itemised in a comprehensive account of how you spend your money, where you spend your money, and even the places you have your items shipped to. Deletion is also something of a pain; there is no option to mass-delete everything, and instead you have to manually work through each item.

There appears to be no option to delete purchase information only but keep emails in Gmail. When you go to this page, you will need to enter your Google credentials in order to see everything you purchased till date.

Though Google shows the steps to delete the transactions, however, it isn't that simple of a process.

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

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