Google Privacy Snafu – Delete your Google Browsing History before it’s too late

Posted on 25 Feb 2012 at 7:28am

Google Privacy Snafu - Delete your Google Browsing History before it’s too late

By March 01, 2012 Google Inc.’s controversial new privacy policy will come into effect, which will permit the online giant to collect, save and use your personal information as they please, if you are one of its users.

This move is sure to send shudders down many users’ spines especially those who do not wish their privacy to be invaded in any which way. Naturally, many privacy campaigners have now come down heavily on this new policy and have raised an objection with the American regulators

There is however, one way to thwart the web colossus in its endeavor to set up a permanent profile of yours, which could include your personal details such as age, gender, region, locality etc. You can do so by erasing your browsing history. This will restrict the extent to which Google can record your every action, as also any of your uneasy secrets.

Here are three easy steps to do so:

 1. First sign into your Google account and then go to the Google homepage. In the upper right side there is the dropdown menu. Under your name in the upper right-hand corner you can see ‘account settings’ – Click over it.

2. Next, you will find in Account’s overviews a section called ‘Services.’ Under this there are sections Go to link – ‘View, enable, or disable web history.’ Click over it.

 3. You will get Web History. You can wipe out all your search details by clicking over ‘Remove Web History.’ Once you do so the entire history of your searches will stay disabled (paused) unless you choose to turn it on once again.

Google Privacy Snafu - Delete your Google Browsing History before it’s too late

 Note that turning off your web history cannot stop Google from amassing and storing your details and using it for internal purposes. However, what it means is that after one and half years (18 months) it will be constrained to make the data anonymous.

Not only that, it will also check Google from specific types of uses such as sending you customized search results. If the user does not sign in, Google will follow your searches through the computer’s IP address. After which the only way to clear your personal history is by signing in.

As no one knows in what manner Google will be using users full information, the policy is facing widespread flak all over. Meanwhile, a complaint has been lodged with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), a watchdog for democratic principles. Digital Democracy has urged FTC to sue Google to immediately halt the policy change and also penalize the web giant, which can be anywhere up to $16,000 per day for every infringement.

This is what Jeff Chester, Executive Director CDD said on the matter “I think the company has their blinders on about the implications of all this …. It’s flabbergasting that all these smart people don’t have a political and ethical handle on this. You shake your head in disbelief that a smart company can’t come clean with consumers and regulators over its privacy practices. They use stealth methods to bypass and they’re getting themselves in trouble in the rush to build a bigger data machine.”

Meanwhile Google Inc.’s new privacy policy has also been criticized by the National Association of Attorneys General for not giving users choices about pooling their data.

Gizmodo, a technology site has termed the new privacy policy of Google as the end of ‘don’t be evil motto,” at the giant site. Elaborating on the line Mat Honan from the tech site wrote that what the new policy implies is that what users of Google used to do till date in relative anonymity will now clearly be associated with their name, face and even phone number.

Indeed, an end to our anonymity there. ‘If you use Google’s services, you have to agree to this new privacy policy. It is an explicit reversal of its previous policies,’ adds Honan. Many have now gone so far as to term Google’s new policy as being ‘big brotherish.’