But what does that mean?
Well it means that Google can use information that they’ve garnered from you with one service, and use it for another service. For example, if you sign into Google Search and start looking for information on the life and music of the legend that is Phil Collins, then perhaps the next time you log into YouTube you may start seeing some Phil Collins videos in the “Recommended for You” section. Of course with the wide range of tools and services available with Google, there are ample different ways they are going to be able to share your information across the board.
This move hasn’t gone down so well with many privacy activists, but what are the actual repercussions for Google’s users? Highly targeted adverts? Faster and more accurate searches? Google aren’t sharing your information with anyone that they weren’t before. And compared to what Facebook have managed to get away with in the last few years, this really doesn’t seem all that bad. Whilst the new share-all changes cannot be turned off, there are still two things worth heeding – you can delete the information Google stores on you (see further down) and you still have some control of the amount of information Google has on you, i.e. don’t be so fast to hand over your home address, phone number and grandmas maiden name like many naïve “Facebookers” did and most likely regretted.
Well at least it seems Google are being open and upfront with their latest developments. Perhaps Facebook could learn a lesson from them?
To delete your Google Search history –
1. Login to your account
2. Go to google.com/history
3. Click the “Remove all Web History” button, providing it was turned on. This erases your history and also stops it recording in the future. You can turn it back on any time you like by going back to the same page.
To delete your YouTube history, click this link for eff.org’s detailed guide.
We’ll keep tabs on Google’s policies here, and if they do decide to use their power for the forces of evil, we’ll be the first to let you know.