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Remove Your Google Search History Before the New Privacy Policy Takes Effect

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Starting March 1st Google’s new privacy policy takes effect, so you may want to do a quick bit of web history cleanup work ahead of time. This tutorial from the Electronic Frontier Foundation will show you how to do it and will only take a few minutes to finish.

Once you sign into your account’s history settings, you are just a couple of clicks away from some peace of mind.

Image courtesy of Electronic Frontier Foundation.

From the blog post: 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 customized search results, will be prevented.

The post also provides a link to the EFF’s Six Tips to Protect Your Search Privacy white paper if you would like to do more to reduce the records kept on you at Google (see last paragraph of blog post).

How to Remove Your Google Search History Before Google’s New Privacy Policy Takes Effect [via BoingBoing]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 02/23/12

Comments (9)

  1. Asgaro

    Good stuff! This site always keeps surprising me with articles you don’t see on other tech sites :)

  2. Anon

    Thanks for the headsup.

    Just a suggestion, don’t go browsing signed in.

  3. kenedy123

    Good to know the Remove of Google Search History Before the New Privacy Policy Takes Effect

  4. Rattlehead

    Easier solution, use a different search engine? just a thought, I won’t use google anymore for anything, and I never looked for anything illegal anyways, but I won’t use it anymore because of the privacy invasion after March 1st. Ive since switched to bing and have no complaints, runs just as good if not better than, google. again, just my opinions, no need to get angry over it, it won’t change.

  5. Rattlehead

    also, to the person that suggested not browsing while signed in, they can still track you from your IP address if it’s that important.

  6. Tonino

    I have serious doubts that removing browsing history makes any difference at this point…

  7. twirlspin

    I agree with Tonino, at this point cleaning your tracks feels like trying to put the excess toothpaste back in the tube…

  8. Jack

    It seems tome that, if they want to get what you have had for breakfast, they can do it. Big Brother is already at work. Most of us are too small to bother with, though. I do not search for anything I should not but I may somehow get something I did not want and it would be recorded and used against me if I were in politics.

  9. Sam

    I’ve been receiving the daily email (update) for about a year now and look forward opening each day. The daily email(update) you guys send almost always has info that interests or helps me with computer stuff and tech that I would never know about. Very easy step by step instructions with photos that even an older noob like myself can follow most of the time. I find your info most helpful. Good stuff.

    If your using windows 7 and google chrome as your browser, in chrome go into options then click “under the hood” and in “privacy” there are 2 tabs or settings on top. Content settings and clear browsing data, click the tab “content settings” that opens “Cookies”. I have it set on “Block third party cookies” and “Clear cookies and other site data when I close my browser”. There is also 2 tabs on the bottom in “Cookies” the 2nd tab is “Cookies and other data”. This will show all the cookies and their websites and an option to delete some or all of the cookies.

    I could not believe all of the cookies I had and who owned them. Some of the websites I visited said “access denied” when I went to visit them. Imagine they are tracking me but wont give me access to their website to check out who’s tracking me. Kind of nervy?

    Thanks again Boing Boing for the heads up.

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