01 March 2012

Want to Delete Your Google Browsing History?

Is it too late? Read on:
Google’s new privacy policy rolled out overnight, turning more than 60 policies into one and clearing the way for the company to unify data about its users across its various online services.

The company went ahead despite concerns from European regulators who asked Google to put the changes on hold. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said in a radio interview today that the policy changes are ”not in accordance with the European law and that the transparency rules have not been applied.”

In a new blog post, the company reiterates that user controls aren’t changing — you’ll still be able to clear your search history, for example — and says it’s making the changes with an eye toward improving its services. _Geekwire.com
Well, they say you can still clear your search history -- and perhaps you should if you are concerned about such things. And yet, what has Google already done with your data, between the stroke of midnight and the hour you are reading this?
Tech News Daily reports that once Google's new unified privacy policy takes effect all data already collected about you, including search queries, sites visited, age, gender and location will be gathered and assigned to your online identity represented by your Gmail and YouTube accounts. After the policy takes effect you are not allowed to opt out without abandoning Google altogether. But now before the policy takes effect, you have the option of deleting your Google Web History by modifying your settings so that Google is unable to associate data collected about you with your Gmail or YouTube accounts.

...deleting your browsing history before March 1 when Google's new privacy policy comes into effect will limit Google's ability to track and record your every move online. The process is simple. Follow the steps below:
1. Go to the google homepage and sign into your account.
2. Click the dropdown menu next to your name in the upper-right hand corner of your screen.
3. Click accounts settings
4. Find the "Services section"
5. Under "Services" there is a sub-section that reads "View, enable, disable web history." Click the link next to it that reads: "Go to Web History."
6. Click on "Remove all Web History"
When you click on "Remove all Web History," a message appears that says " Web History is Paused." What this means is that while Google will continue gathering and storing information about your web history it will make all data anonymous, that is, Google will not associate your Web History information with your online accounts and will therefore be unable to send you customized search results.

Google's ability to gather personalized information about you by assigning data to your Gmail and YouTube accounts will remain "Paused" till you click "Resume." _DigitalJournal
On the other hand, many people may feel sorry for Google, and may wish to help the struggling dot.com to survive the Obama era. If you are one of these soft-hearted folk, simply disregard this entire posting. No one but Google will ever know the difference. Oh, and anyone else that Google decides to tell, of course.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on this disclaimer on Google's Web History page:

"You can remove all Web History from your Google Account at any time. While signed in to your Google Account:
1.Go to google.com/history.
2.Click Remove all web history.

However, as is common practice in the industry, and as outlined in the Google Privacy Policy, Google maintains a separate logs system for auditing purposes and to help us improve the quality of our services for users."

Thursday, 01 March, 2012  
Blogger al fin said...


And one cannot rule out that even smaller print disclaimers exist somewhere, if we could only find them . . .

Thursday, 01 March, 2012  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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