A somewhat shocking discovery surfaced recently, and many privacy-minded citizens are concerned. As it turns out, Google stores data about your purchases by tracking email receipts in your inbox, and they’ve been doing so for years. Representatives from Google claim that this feature helps users track purchases in one convenient place, but that explanation doesn’t fully check out. If that angle was their original intention, then why wasn’t the feature proudly advertised to users?
A spokesperson from Google told CNBC that “We don’t use any information from your Gmail messages to serve you ads, and that includes the email receipts and confirmations shown on the Purchase page.” Regardless, most folks would rather not have that kind of log assembled on their profiles. There’s a specific process involved with deleting this data, but we’re here to walk you through it.
Here’s how to delete data from your Purchases page:
- Head to https://myaccount.google.com
- Select Payments & Subscriptions, then Manage purchases
- Here you can click on various groups and select Remove reservation for any data point you’d like to delete
Unfortunately, you’re not able to turn off the feature permanently. This process is just one that you may need to repeat periodically to keep your data trail clear. If you’d like to avoid it altogether, just proactively delete any receipt emails you receive in your inbox. Also, while you’re in your Google account you should take a gander at your other privacy controls. You can do so by going to Data & personalization from the main menu, and then clicking Manage your activity controls. From there, you’ll be able to delete any other location data, voice recordings, or web/app data from you account as well.
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