PSA – one day left to change your Google privacy settings

This was something I learned about today and just finished taking care of.  It was a little annoying since when I moved to Israel, my Google account automatically turned into Hebrew, so the instructions below weren’t as helpful as they could have been, but I got my browsing history deleted and hopefully will have a little bit more online privacy as a result.  Google’s new privacy goes into effect on March 1, 2012.

>>Just a 1 day to go before Google changes to its new privacy policy that allows it to gather, store and use personal information, users have a last chance to delete their Google Browsing History, along with any damning information therein.

Tech News Daily reports that once Google’s new unified privacy policy takes
effect all data already collected about you, including search queries,
sites visited, age, gender and location will be gathered and assigned to
your online identity represented by your Gmail and YouTube accounts. After
the policy takes effect you are not allowed to opt out without abandoning
Google altogether. But now before the policy takes effect, you have the
option of deleting your Google Web History by modifying your settings so
that Google is unable to associate data collected about you with your Gmail
or YouTube accounts.

Tech News Daily reports that Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a
nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that advocates for online
privacy, says: “Search data can reveal particularly sensitive information
about you, including facts about your location, interests, age, sexual
orientation, religion, health concerns, and more.”EFF advises all Google
users to delete their web history.Meanwhile, Center for Digital
Democracy has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, asking
the Commission to sue Google to stop the policy change. Tech News
Daily reports FTC can impose fines up to $16,000 per day for
violation.Daily Mail reports that deleting your browsing history before
March 1 when Google’s new privacy policy comes into effect will limit
Google’s ability to track and record your every move online. The process is
simple. Follow the steps below:

1. Go to the google homepage and sign into your account.

2. Click the dropdown menu next to your name in the upper-right hand corner
of your screen.

3. Click accounts settings

4. Find the “Services section”

5. Under “Services” there is a sub-section that reads “View, enable,
disable web history.” Click the link next to it that reads: “Go to Web

“6. Click on “Remove all Web History”When you click on “Remove all Web
History,” a message appears that says ” Web History is Paused.”

What this means is that while Google will continue gathering and storing
information about your web history it will make *all* data anonymous, that
is, Google will not associate your Web History information with your online
accounts and will therefore be unable to send you customized search results.

Google’s ability to gather personalized information about you by assigning
data to your Gmail and YouTube accounts will remain “Paused” till you click


5 thoughts on “PSA – one day left to change your Google privacy settings

  1. Avivah, thanks for letting us know about this. Wondering if Google has already scrambled this, a couple hours ahead of midnight EST here, because your instructions dont quite make it happen…..will try again. Wondering if others are having trouble?

  2. Hi Avivah,
    You can change your to display in English. When you open Google, look below the search box and you should see 2 buttons that have Hebrew (I don’t know what it says!) and below that are links “English” (on the left) and something in Arabic (which probably indicates “Arabic”) in the middle and to the right of that “ gam b’ (in Hebrew, but I can read that much). Click the English link and it should become your default language (if that’s what you want).

    1. Thanks for the technical help, Tehillah! I changed the language to Hebrew before I did this, but it didn’t default when the screen switched to web history. I’ll try it again!

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