How To Remove Your Search History Before Google's Privacy Policy Changes

On March 1st, Google will implement its new, unified privacy policy, which will affect data Google has collected on you prior to March 1st as well as data it collects on you in the future. Until now, your Google Web History (your Google searches and sites visited) was cordoned off from Google's other products. This protection was especially important because search data can reveal particularly sensitive information about you, including facts about your location, interests, age, sexual orientation, religion, health concerns, and more.

This is a guest post from Eva Galperin of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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.

Here's how you can do that:

1. Sign into your Google account.

2. Go to https://www.google.com/history

3. Click "remove all Web History."

4. Click "ok."

Note that removing your Web History also pauses it. Web History will remain off until you enable it again.

Important: 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 sought by 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 customised 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.

Republished from Electronic Frontier Foundation's Deeplinks blog with permission.


Comments

    Mines been 'paused' for at least 6 months now.

    Does Google think it's going to become the internet police? Good luck that's a huge undertaking. Criminals beware, there's no place to hide your ugly searches. Pedophiles you've been tagged, start running. Parts of me says this is ok because the internet is out of control. Users of ALL ages get into things they have no business. If you don't put the information out there, there's nothing to worry about. The internet is NOT your diary like those idiots on Facebook. The old saying TMI is there montra. You want to know, just ask. Young people give way too much info on the internet.

    Thank you giz and EFF, this was extremely helpful.

    Mine has the option to turn on web history, or no thanks.

    Presuming I'm fine?

    hey sicarius123, mine is the same... so i assume we have nothing to worry about too

    Just been looking through my history and there's nothing there to be ashamed of or worried about revealing. With my search information for the past month Google may assume that I'm a pregnant and planning on hacking a major oil company but none of those are close to reality...
    Gotta go, there's someone at the door.

    Wow, people are only juuuuust learning about this now. Better late than never though. Mine has been paused since February 2007.

    Interestingly, in Safari when you set your browser to Private mode, Google can STILL capture your web history!!! Sorry if someone's already said it!

    Could someone confirm something for me - if i'm not logged in under a google account, then there'd be no data to collect, right? Even if I have a gmail account, if I use google search without signing in, then it can't record anything against my account, correct?

    Thanks

      Google not only store account search history, but also IP logs, and they will kep search IP logs for 9 months, so if you done a search from your IP 6 months ago on google police will see it, even if you are not logged on your google account.

    Reviewed mine and I don't have anything to worry about.
    If this has positive benefits to other Google services and will may my day to day life easier I'm all for it.

    Thanks for the info to https://www.google.com/history didn't know about it before.

    Google wants to be like God, all knowing, with algorithms they can predict 90% of human activity. Mark Zuckerberg worked for the CIA and facebook was invented so the CIA can track you. It makes their job super easy now. instead of spending 6 months trying to track, lets say hotel recipts, etc.

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