Google now lets you immediately access and delete your search history

26 October, 2018, 06:30 | Author: Larry Hoffman
  • Struggling to find privacy-related settings for Google products and services? Starting today Google is making this a little bit easier

France and Spain have previously fined Google as a result of privacy practices, but the firm avoided a penalty from the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in 2015 over the clarity of its privacy policies.

Image Google
Image Google

The function will be available on the Android and iOS Google apps within a few weeks, according to a Google blog post announcing the changes. Every time you make a search query on Google, and you happen to be logged into your account simultaneously, Google maintains a record. The only problem was that these settings were essentially hidden deep inside the Google Account dashboard, and they are now much easier to access than ever before thanks to the direct link from Google Search.

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Within that page you'll see your recent search data, an explanation from Google on how it uses that data, and you can then delete the search data. Of course, companies like Facebook and Google use your information heavily in order to target their ads monetize their content better, so it's always in their interest to do so.

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Now, you'll be able to open a side menu from the Google home page and tap on "Your data in Search". From Ad Settings, you can control the ads Google serves you; Activity Controls let you manage what information the company saves to your account and uses to improve its products. Similar changes will come to other Google services, like Maps, next year.

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Simply put: People are more aware of their personal data and how it can be harvested without their explicit consent and maybe weaponized against them and their own self interests. While it is not a huge advance in terms of our level of control, making it easy and obvious that protecting your data can and should be a habit is a small step in the right direction. Google plans to eventually expand the privacy features to other products, such as its mapping applications.

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