Google's Privacy Policy. What You Can Do.

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It's the topic du jour, Google is updating it's Privacy Policy and need I forget to mention Google is NOT allowing users to opt-out. That's right. All Google users must opt-in to the new Policy. That fact alone doesn't sit well with me! It's not so much the changes taking place (although those changes are important and concerning), but the fact that Google is "forcing" it's users to opt-in and accept...no questions asked.

internet privacy
Internet Privacy by o5com via Flickr

You may recall in Part One of Be Smart, Secure and Safe. A Guide to Managing Your Online Privacy, I advised of the functionality to opt-out of targeted ads if you have a Gmail account. You'll now want to consider clearing our web history. This post will be an extension of Part One and represent Part Five as you'll gain an understanding of how to clear your web history in Google.

Nutshell explanation of Google's Privacy Policy Update*

If you're a Google product user: Gmail, YouTube, Blogger, Google+ etc. Prior to March 1, 2012 Google would keep your personal information separate from each product. Each product had it's own standalone Privacy Policy. For example, your behavior and information on YouTube wasn't stored in the same way as your behavior and information on Google+.

Moving forward Google will combine your personal information and your behavior in each of it's products into a "global profile" (sounds weird, right? "global profile") so that it can roll-out more targeted advertising and more relevant search results. Google doesn't state this, but many believe it's in an effort to boost advertising dollars by presenting advertisers with more robust database of personal data. Gross.

One of the ways Google is tracking your behavior is through your web history. Challenge Google on this and clear your web history as frequently as you can or "Pause" your web history so that it's not recorded until you choose to "Resume."

Follow these steps to remove your Google web history:

1. Visit your Google web at www.google.com/history.

2. Click on "Remove all Web History."

3. Click the "Ok" button.

Follow these steps to pause your Google web history:

1. Visit your Google web at www.google.com/history.

2. Click on the "Pause" button.

 

* Click here for a broader explanation of Google's Privacy Policy update.

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