How to turn off and clear your Google web history

first_imgGoogle announced last month that it was going to implement a major update to its privacy policies and terms of service — some 70 privacy policies will be replaced with just one for the majority of Google’s services. This new policy is also meant to be much more readable for any users wanting to understand how their data is being used.This is good news because nobody wants to keep track of 70 privacy policies they agreed to, and no one wants to read legal jargon. However, there is a downside.At the moment, Google treats your data for each service separately to a large extent. Your web history for searches is kept separate from Gmail, YouTube, Google+, and even Calendar. With the new policy that data will be combined, meaning Google can start matching up your search and services history, allowing them to better tailor adverts you may like or respond to. They also get a better understanding of who you are as an individual.You can stop your historical data being combined into one big pot, though. And it’s actually quite simple to achieve. All you need to do is:Login to your Google accountVisit http://www.google.com/history. (That URL needs to change if you are not in the US, for example, UK users would use .co.uk instead of .com.)Once that page is loaded, choose to delete your entire web history by clicking the remove button. This deletes the historical data, meaning Google won’t have access to it when the privacy policy switch happens on March 1st.Clearing your web history also has another benefit: it stops your web history being collected going forward. You can turn the feature back on if you wish, but it is now off by default.Google argues that allowing a web history to be recorded means better personalized search predictions and recommendations. You can also search the full content of web pages you’ve already visited. It’s up to you to decide if those features are worth it.More at the EFF and the Official Google Bloglast_img read more