What You Should Know About Google’s New Privacy Policy

google history

privacy policy

On March 1st, Google’s new unified privacy policy will take effect.

This isn’t only something that will affect you from March 1st and forward, it will also affect your Google Web History up until, now.

If you want to keep Google from combining your Web History with the data they have gathered about you in their other products, such as YouTube or Google Plus, you may want to remove all items from your Web History and stop your Web History from being recorded in the future.

Google can learn a lot from your web history and search data, such as:

  • Location
  • Interest
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Health issues
  • More!

You can try disabling your Google Web History in your Google account, but that won’t be enough.

As stated by the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

Note that disabling Web History in your Google account will not prevent Google from gathering and storing this information and using it for internal purposes. It also does not change the fact that any information gathered and stored by Google could be soughtby law enforcement.

With Web History enabled, Google will keep these records indefinitely; with it disabled, they will be partially anonymized after 18 months, and certain kinds of uses, including sending you customized search results, will be prevented. If you want to do more to reduce the records Google keeps, the advice in EFF’s Six Tips to Protect Your Search Privacy white paper remains relevant.

If you have several Google accounts, you will need to do this for each of them.

If you would like to disable your Google Web History, here’s how:

First, sign into your Google account (chances are, you already are — LOL!)

google history

Go to https://www.google.com/history

turn off google history

Click on the “remove all Web History.”

turn off google history

Click, “OK!”

turn off google history

I personally didn’t have mine enabled, so there was nothing to remove; but it was good to know it was taken care of.

Remember, this won’t prevent Google from gathering or storing your info for internal purposes or sharing it when law enforcement when requested. This will, however, partially anonymize your information after 18 months.

If you’re interested in taking your web search privacy to a whole new level, I suggest reading the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Six Tips to Protect Your Search Privacy.

What do you think about this?

Should web search and history data be kept private?

[via Electronic Frontier Foundation | Image via Frederic Poirot]


Eric Dye

I am a blogger, business owner and lover of coffee. I spend most of my time as Programs Director for Open Church, but you'll also find me as a writer and editor for ChurchMag, as well as working on Live Theme and ChurchMag Press. All while enjoying my family and sipping espresso in Italy.


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