Google CEO Sundar Pichai appeared before lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, where he faced a barrage of questions about data privacy and security.
While Pichai said the search giant is trying to minimize the amount and type of user data that is obtained and stored, he admitted it is a balancing act to both meet those demands and users’ expectations. For example, he said some people may want search history to be available on their browser, but they don’t want data from YouTube stored.
“Expectations are constantly evolving,” Pichai said, adding there’s more work to be done.
He also noted that there are generally controls for most features that allow consumers to enhance their own privacy protections.
But if you don’t take those proactive steps, here are some of the ways Google could be storing your data:
When setting up your Gmail account, Google requires that you enter some personal information, which can include your name, age and address.
Unless your search history is turned off, this data will be stored.
Things like IP addresses are stored by the company. That could mean, even if you turn off location services, your phone might still give clues as to where you are under certain circumstances.
Pichai said there are also situations where GPS signals and WiFi beacons could give location clues.