Beware Google Archiving Your Entire Google Search History
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Google sure does a lot of nifty things with their search and archive capabilities! And one of those things is that it now archives your search history. Meaning that if you are logged in to Google, and perform a Google search, it remembers it for you. And which search results you clicked on. Even if you don’t want it to.

Everything (well, nearly enough).


According to Google, “In order to provide the service, My Search History saves information about your activity on Google, including your search queries, the results you click on, and the date and time of your searches. Also, as stated in the main Google Privacy Policy, when you use any Google service, we collect additional information including your Internet Protocol address, browser type, browser language and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser.”

And you, dear reader, recall the court case where the defendant’s browsing history was used as evidence and Aunty can hear you shuddering, “Oh Aunty! But surely you can opt out of this?”

Oh sure, you can opt out of Google’s “My Search History”, and even delete your search history. But all that means is that it is not making that history available to you any longer. It’s still being archived, and still being used by Google. In fact, Google has this to say about that:

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“You can choose to stop storing your searches in My Search History either temporarily or permanently, or remove items, as described in My Search History Help. However, as is common practice in the industry, Google maintains a separate logs system for auditing purposes and to help us improve the quality of our services for users. For example, we use this information to audit our ads systems, understand which features are most popular to users, improve the quality of our search results, and help us combat vulnerabilities such as denial of service attacks”

So what is the moral of this story?

Well, first, like Yahoo and their using web beacons to track their users across the web, if you don’t to be tracked by Google, don’t log into a Google account.

 

Second, this is yet one more example of a service which lots of people may really like, but many may not. And, Aunty would submit to you, one more example of how we as an Internet nation have been willing to sell our privacy soul to the “more bigger better faster” devil.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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What info did you find here today?:

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7 thoughts on “Beware Google Archiving Your Entire Google Search History
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  1. I used to use Google extensively, but out of principle, I’ve using Yahoo Search and All the Web a lot more often. It’s a shame Google feels the need to get into out personal business (even if we aren’t doing anything wrong).

  2. When a small measure of safety became more important than civil liberties, America ceased to exist. Freedom takes a courage this country no longer possesses.

  3. America’s experiment with freedom is coming to an end. US Citizens do not appreciate it enough to protect and keep it. Don’t worry, be happy…

  4. What’s scary is when someone say’s “If you’re not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.” The same is said about the Patriot Act and now many of our basic civil rights are gone.

  5. Please expand on your comment “don’t log into a Google account”. What does this mean, don’t send my browser to www.google.com?

    Thanks Aunty :-)

    Tom

  6. So, this means that we should stop using Google because it can track our search history? SO WHAT? If you’re not doing anything illegal, you’ve got nothing to hide. If it logs your IP, get dial-up. Sure, it might be a hassle, but if you really want your computer to be kept secret from the internet (or if you’re a hacker), at least this will mess up SOME of Google’s information harvesting.

    I have also read “Gmail Is Too Creepy”, and they also said that Gmail (Google’s “hotmail” address) logs each of your messages that were sent to and from your account. Again, if you’re not doing anything illegal, it shouldn’t affect you.

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