A new report has found that Google is still keeping a record of a user’s purchase history indefinitely.
Back in May, CNBC writer Todd Haselton revealed that he noticed the tech giant was using Gmail to store a list of everything a user has purchased, if Gmail or a Gmail address was included in any part of the transaction.
“If you have a confirmation for a prescription you picked up at a pharmacy that went into your Gmail account, Google logs it. If you have a receipt from Macy’s, Google keeps it. If you bought food for delivery and the receipt went to your Gmail, Google stores that, too,” Haselton wrote.
At the time, Google claimed it tracks the info so that Google Assistant can track packages or reorder items, adding that users could simply delete everything by tapping into a purchase and removing the Gmail. However, it only worked if each purchase was deleted individually, which could take hours or even days depending on a person’s purchase history.
Still, Haselton decided to delete everything in his Gmail inbox — more than a decade of information. And it didn’t work.
“Like a horror movie villain that just won’t die,” he wrote, adding that he can “still see receipts for things I bought years ago. Prescriptions, food deliveries, books I bought on Amazon, music I purchased from iTunes, a subscription to Xbox Live I bought from Microsoft — it’s all there. Google continues to show me purchases I’ve made recently, too. I can’t delete anything and I can’t turn it off.”
“When I click on an individual purchase and try to remove it — it says I can do this by deleting the email, after all — it just redirects to my inbox and not to the original email message for me to delete, since that email no longer exists,” he continued. “So Google is caching or saving this private information somewhere else that isn’t just tied to my Gmail account.”
A Google spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on this latest story.