Delete Now, Or Forever Hold Your Peace

On March 1, 2012 Google’s new and improved privacy policy comes into effect. All of your browsing habits and info will get dumped into a file labelled “all about you”. You can’t stop it, but you can impale it. Delete your browsing history. Now.

Once the policy goes live, all of your existing browsing history gets added into the collection. Some people don’t keep history and others wipe it every now and then – but a majority of you couldn’t be bothered to do such tasks (myself included) so you most likely have years of saved up data that Google would love to get its hands on.

What sort of data? It’s not just the sites you’ve been to. It’s what you’ve searched for, where you searched for it, your age, your gender – you’d be surprised at the kind of personal data about you that can be mined. That’s why everyone is freaking out about privacy violations.

The key thing here is that it’s all about you. No, really, it finally is! Google boasts that its new privacy policy is one policy to rule all of its domains – to make it easier for you. The bigger picture is that everything you do online gets associated with one identity—your own. Not pixie68, flamjam204, or whatever your cryptic miscellaneous handle was. Google will be collecting info on everything you do using its products and store it under your identity. Your real name.

Once the policy is live, there’s no turning back. You can’t opt out of Google collecting all of your data unless you say goodbye to Google altogether. Good luck with that. To use anything by Google means agreeing to this policy, which pretty much signs your life away.

Google’s motto is “don’t be evil” remember? No? Understandable. Save yourself some hassle and delete your browsing history.

  1. Sign into your Google account.
  2. Go to Account Settings (top-right corner)
  3. Under “Services”  click “Go to web history” beside the “View, enable, disable web history”
  4. Click on “Remove all Web History”

Now Google will still collect data but it will all be anonymous. You won’t get customized search results—Google’s goal to serve you better—but your privacy stays private. As it should be.

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.