Clear your Google Search History

On March 1, Google will implement a new privacy policy and terms of service for Google users. These new policies will consolidate information that Google collects from users through its various products like Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube. I have expressed concern about these changes because I believe users of Google services may be unaware that this information is being consolidated, and may object to such aggregation.

Although Google users cannot prevent Google from collecting their information for Google’s internal uses, they can take steps to prevent the combining of personal information to generate personalized advertisements or search results. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has posted two guides to accomplish this: one helps Google users clear their search history and disable future collection of search queries; the other helps users remove their YouTube viewing and search histories. Google’s frequently asked questions also includes information for consumers who wish to minimize the collection and use of their web history.

Taking these steps will help consumers manage how their web browsing habits are aggregated and used, but they are not a substitute for a true Do-Not-Track standard. I’ve cosponsored Do-Not-Track legislation in the Senate and am supportive of efforts by privacy advocates, consumers, industry, and government to provide strong, meaningful Do-Not-Track options for consumers.