Google tracks your purchases. Here’s how to see what Gmail knows
Google tracks your information in ways you may not know about.
Katie TeagueWriter II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
ExpertisePersonal Finance: Social Security and taxes
has been keeping tabs on what you buy through your
inbox and storing them in a Google Account page that evidently no one knew about. This purchase tracking has gone on for several years before being discovered. In essence, this creates a list of your online shopping history that can stretch back five years. Google said it is doing this to help its users keep track of everything they've purchased in one place -- but people are seeing this as an invasion of
Google has promised that you're the only one who can see this data.
We'll show you how to find your online purchases on Google's My Activity page, manage what's being tracked and delete what's there.
See your purchases, subscriptions and reservations
1. Google tracks multiple email types through Gmail, including purchases, payments, subscription services and reservations, say for hotels, cars and airline tickets. To view and manage them, start by navigating to https://myaccount.google.com/.
2. Select Payments & subscriptions.
3. From here, you can click into each grouping. You can view items here, which could include a subscription to YouTube or
, a Google Music payment or apps you bought from the Google Play store. Reservations can include hotels, restaurants and flights.
4. Click into each item and tap "Remove reservation," "Remover purchase" and so on to delete anything you don't want stored in your Gmail account.
Manage your web and app activity
Your Web and App Activity includes searches through Google,
and Play. This is how you can update your settings. You'll be able to pause activity from being recorded and delete anything that has been saved -- especially private information.
4. From here, you can turn off and delete activity being saved to Google. Even if you're not online, Google is still able to keep track of your activity and will sync the data once you're online, so keep your Web & App Activity off if you want to keep things private.