Google has often been accused of collecting massive amounts of personal information about people who use Gmail. That information includes your shopping details and things you buy online and offline, including things that are in no way related to Google. The search giant, it seems, scans the emails for clues of the transaction and then gathers them all and puts them up on a separate page on your account.
The news of Google collecting data to serve advertisements isn't new and despite the privacy crusade of Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, the revelation isn't shocking. Just visit your Google account dashboard and tap on 'Payments & subscriptions'. Scroll down to the 'Manage purchases' and you'll be shown the month wise record of products that you have bought.
In its defence, Google says that it does not sell personal information, which includes Gmail and Google Account information. As per the Google support page, the 'Purchase' section brings users' purchases and reservations together and makes it easy for them to view and keep track of it. Google says that the purchases come from the orders placed using Google services, like Google Play or order receipts or confirmation received in Gmail. Google also allows the user to delete the orders from the list. However, removing the list isn't easy. Also, you might want to save the receipts in case you want to return. But there is no way of deleting the receipts without deleting the receipt mail. Also, clicking on the delete option in 'Purchases', simply takes you back to the mail.
In 2017, the tech giant said it would stop using data collected from Gmail messages to personalise ads. Google was under intense scrutiny in 2018 for privacy breaches after it was found that any third party software developer could read people's emails. Google had denied it and had said that their employees read the emails only in cases where users gave the consent.
In 2018, Google also cut a deal with Mastercard, giving Google huge amounts of data measuring offline spendings of the cardholders.
Edited By: Udit Verma