According to a report by journalist Todd Haselton CNBC, Google records the purchases of Gmail users over the years. This affects all purchases where a Gmail address is used, even if the actual purchase was not made via Google but, for example, Amazon.
As Haselton reported, in his Google account under the item “Purchases” (Purchases) he has found a comprehensive list of previous purchases that date back to 2012. Since the majority of purchases were made directly through the Amazon app, the list must have been created automatically by Google. For this purpose, the company probably analysed the texts of received e-mails and created a shopping list from them.
In addition to online stores, the list includes restaurant visits, credit and debit card recharges, and iTunes purchases.
List Only Visible to the User
In response to questions, Google explained that the company wanted to use the feature to help users monitor their subscriptions, bookings and purchases at a central point. In addition, according to Google, there is no data protection problem, as only the user himself has access to the data and these can be deleted at any time by him. According to the Google spokesman, private data such as the shopping list are not used for advertising purposes. This includes purchases and invoices that appear in the Purchases list.
However, individual transactions can only be removed from the list using detours. Instead of being able to delete entries directly, there is only the option to remove the corresponding e-mail. Google activity tracking also doesn’t allow you to remove items from the list without deleting the email.