While Google’s superior search engine has made life much easier for many of us, there are privacy-related downsides to it. Google logs and retains information on all of your searches on your account when you use the search engine while logged in, thus retaining a record of all the information you seek on the internet. While not exactly a privacy violation, it’s definitely a concern for anyone that is paranoid about their online presence.
You can, of course, erase search history on your individual browser and device, thereby protecting your searches from prying eyes that may have access to your device or may even be peeking over your shoulder. However, searches are still stored on the servers. There have been ways to wipe out this data even at the server level, but the steps to do this are hidden inside the settings.
Users will now be able to delete server-stored search history from within Google Search itself, along with providing easier access to settings that control personalization of ads and account activity saved on Google sites and services. All of these changes come as a result of an increasing focus on user privacy, and ensuring that users remain aware of the information being shared when they are using Google websites and services. All of this comes in the face of major privacy scandals, particularly related to Facebook. Google is looking to stay one step ahead of any potential privacy issues with this latest move.
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For now, the new controls will be rolling out for the desktop and mobile web browsers, with these same controls coming to Android and iOS-based Google Search apps in the next few weeks. Access to these controls is easy enough; simply head on over to google.com on any desktop or mobile browser while you’re logged in, and a selection called ‘Control your data in Google Search’ will show. Clicking on this takes you to easy settings for various privacy and data related controls, which can quickly be changed to your preferences.