Google is making it easier to wipe out your search history

Google stores a record of everything you search for on Google.com if you’re logged into your Google Account. You can clear your local browser history, but that won’t clear what’s stored on Google’s servers. While you’ve been able to dig into the Google Account page and find an activity stream of search history, Google is making it a lot easier to delete this history within search itself today.

You’ll now be able to review and delete recent search history within Google search itself. Google’s privacy controls won’t be buried away in settings anymore, and the company is even providing quicker access to controls like disabling ad personalization or even preventing Google sites from saving activity. Ultimately, these changes are designed to make Google users a little more aware of the control they have over their account.

Google is making these changes in search on desktop and mobile web today, with iOS and Android updates to follow in the coming weeks. Google is also planning to expand these same changes to services like Maps next year, in an effort to overhaul the company’s privacy controls.

These new privacy controls come at a time when there’s increased focus on the work that giant tech companies are doing to protect privacy. Facebook has faced a major privacy scandal this year, and its recent security breach could be a big test of Europe’s new GDPR rules. Google is also facing mounting pressure from Congress over a recent Google+ privacy flaw, and its new privacy changes are arriving on the same day that Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling for comprehensive federal privacy laws.

Comments

Google is really stepping up but they could improve.

Being in a state of always improving is good. Google is about the best in the industry at allowing you to view, delete and protect your data. Nice to see they aren’t being complacent in that.

Google is about the best in the industry at allowing you to view, delete and protect your data.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/17/17715166/google-location-tracking-history-weather-maps

allowing you to view, delete and protect your data

Delete it all if you like, you can also see it all. That story is a classic case of one hand doing one thing in google and the other, well doing another. You turn off history for maps. But not for search. Wording was bad but I don’t think it was done maliciously and they are constantly improving. Look at others in the industry and it is far worse. Facebook has literally sold your data in the past.

Google is really stepping up but they could improve.

Google`s mission is to find out everything about you and use it for their own financial ends.

How anyone could call that "stepping up" is troubling.

By definition if they are "in return" they are not free. And your side of the bargain is vague and open ended.

Free as in beer certainly.

It is a great bargin. They present you with ads, you get a service. The wooly privacy argument is the thing that is vague and open ended. I’m all on board that social media has been a disaster but I still have yet to see anything that has shown that the demographic information they collect is a cause for concern. Demographic information that has been collected for years long before google existed by the way.

I really hope the privacy hard liners don’t kill this amazing deal we have all had because they confuse a a social media/lack of trusted news sources issue for a privacy issue. I really hope that doesn’t happen. The PR game is strong for privacy… don’t let it fool you.

That is not Google’s mission. Google’s mission is to sell ads. It uses data to target those ads. Using data is a implementation of Google’s mission. If they find a better way to sell ads, then they won’t collect data.

If you want to believe Google, then their mission is to collect and organize the world’s information. But we all know that it is actually to sell ads.

When saying delete, I am sure what they really mean is hide it from you, but keep it around for advertising etc.

When saying delete, I am sure what they really mean is hide it from you, but keep it around for advertising etc.

Almost certainly yes.

Why on earth would Google give up highly valuable product information just because they were asked to?

Why on earth would Google give up highly valuable product information just because they were asked to?

Good point. Why would any company do anything they say they’re doing? /s

That’s somewhat naïve.

and thinking they don’t is somewhat cynical.

and thinking they don’t is somewhat cynical.

You only need to look at their actual behavior to understand the justifiable source of my skepticism.

Normal companies only do the bare minimum to stay compliant. Google rarely do even that, hence why they get fined billions by the EU.

Cool. Thanks for the opinion.

Do you enjoy your "guilty until proven innocent" dystopia?

Do you enjoy your "guilty until proven innocent" dystopia?

Do you enjoy your "huge tech companies care about my rights over profit" fantasy?

Does covering up the Google Plus security mess for years to avoid scrutiny not count? Your faith in Google looks to be a little misplaced.

View All Comments
Back to top ↑