Thursday, March 1, 2012

Google privacy changes - two steps you can take

OK, so it's a little ironic to use Google's Blogger service to post about how to recover a little privacy after Google's new Privacy Policy changes come into effect today...

For those who have missed it, Google will now actively share information it collects about you in, say, Gmail with its other services. So the ads you see when searching will be more targeted, as will those in YouTube etc.

Most people won't care, or will see that as a good thing. But the European Commission thinks the changes violate European privacy legislation. Google has made the changes anyway.

If you're concerned, what can you do? Here, from. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, are two simple steps to delete browsing history:

Here’s how to remove and disable your Google web history:
  1. Sign in to your Google account.
  2. Go here:
  3. Click the “Remove all Web History” button.
  4. Click “OK.”

Your Google web history will now be cleared and remain disabled until you decide to enable it again.

Here’s how to cover your YouTube search and viewing tracks:
  1. Sign in to your Google account.
  2. Go here:
  3. Click your profile icon.
  4. Go to the Video Manager section of your profile.
  5. Click “History.”
  6. Click the “Clear all viewing history” button.
  7. Click the “Pause viewing history” button.
  8. Go to the Search History section of your profile, located on the lefthand column.
  9. Click the “Clear all search history button.”
  10. Click the “Pause search history” button to prevent future searches from being recorded indefinitely.

Head over to the Electronic Frontier Foundation website for more extensive sets of instructions on how to remove your Google web and YouTube histories, replete with screenshots.