Check Your Google Web History

The EFF posted an article with screenshots on how to remove your Google web/search history. This is because their new privacy policy exposes what you have searched for in the past to your connections. They say to use the Remove all Web History button. Instead, I am using this as an opportunity to learn about myself. Not only does it have my searches, but it also has the sites on which I clicked.

    • My web /search history goes back to Nov 20, 3007.
    • Wikipedia is a common click.
    • I suck at spelling.
    • I search about myself.
    • Pretty sure this history is missing quite a bit.
    • Expanded search has no entries; Limited has too much to review everything.
    • If at first I do not find something, new variants pop up over several days.
    • About a tenth of my listed searches were in support of an active conversation.
    • Surprised my phone searches were not included in this history.

Responses to my Facebook post about this earlier today were a couple friends who found it already turned off. I found a number of 2007 and 2009 articles advocating turning it off. Even Google’s help on Basics: Web History says:

When you create a Google Account, Web History is automatically turned on.

I’m thinking more and more I need separate Google accounts for work and personal lives.

If Google is going to publicize what I search for to my friends, then it would be nice for me to have filters. Maybe I want any clicks I make to urbandictionary.com to be private? My vulgar vocabulary is weak, so it is a good source for understanding what a few friends mean. But I would be mortified for Google to tell my Mom to go there because I did.

from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

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