Let bygones be bygones – How to delete your Google search history
When Facebook made a creepy change to its photo tagging policy, I wrote a post explaining how you could opt-out.
On this weeks episode of “Creepers gonna creep”, on March 1st Google is going to start sharing the information they have collected on you between its many services.
What does this mean? Right now YouTube doesn’t know anything about your Google searches and vice versa. Google search does not know that you’ve seen every single JBiebs video – multiple times – even though you regularly search for “What did we ever do to you Canada?” and “Visa application for countries where Justin Bieber songs are illegal”. As a result, YouTube shows you ads for the new JBiebs CD, but Google search still thinks you are a well-adjusted functioning member of society. Starting March 1st, YouTube will see your searches and Google search will see your YouTube views; both will think you are a self-hating Bieber-fever mega-fan. Obviously this is not the only information that can and will be exchanged between Google services and this applies to all Google services, including but not limited to YouTube, Google search, Gmail and Google maps.
What can you do? Delete and/or disable your web search history at https://www.google.com/history
To see an overview of the Google services you are using and the information they’ve collected, visit https://www.google.com/dashboard/b/0/
As noted on the EFF blog:
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.