“Improve Your Google Search Experience”

Web History uses the information from your web history or other information you provide us to improve your Google search experience, such as improving the quality of your search results and providing recommendations. In addition to enabling the Web History functionality, the information we collect when you use Web History may be shared among all of our services in order to provide you with a seamless experience and to improve the quality of our services. We will not disclose this information to other companies or individuals, except in the limited circumstances described in our main Google Privacy Policy, or with your consent.

Are they kidding?

Google’s new service, Web History, promises to let you get access to all of the sites you’ve visited — it’s unclear how large a train of history they’ll collect — limitless? — and search through that mass. They even offer an RSS feed of your web visits. Oh, and they promise that they’ll only use your record of browsing for good and not for evil.

They say I can implement this service when I wish — but it’s already in operation for me I discover, though I’ve pushed no button, clicked no link. They’ve got that negative option covered:

When you create a Google Account, you automatically gain access to a number of Google services, including Web History, Google Calendar, Google Spreadsheets, Google Alerts, and your Personalized Homepage. If you’d like to delete the Web History service from your Google Account, click on the “My Account” link from the Google homepage and click on “Edit” next to “My services”. Then select “Delete Web History”. Make sure you’re signed in to your Google Account to see the “My Account” link.

I’m going to try it, just to see what it has that beats my Firefox browser (private) history. But you might wish to run to your Google account and stop this thing before it takes over your life.

Comments

  1. Despite the unclear language on the Google History sites, it seems that they track only your searches and subsequent page visits from among the search results. This makes some better sense: it had seemed to me that they were proposing to track my entire browsing history.

    Alert level reduced to orange.