You’ll shudder when you see what Google knows about your web searches

“You may find yourself squirming when you realise Google never forgets what you’ve been typing into its search engine over the years, but, at least afterwards, you’ll be able to do something about it,” Graham Cluley reports for Intego.

“First things first, take a deep breath and visit: https://history.google.com/history/,” Cluley reports. “In the case of the anonymous guinea pig who graciously allowed me to screen capture their web searching history, I would have been able to trawl back through over five years worth of web searches, learning about their medical complaints, old school friends they were curious about/stalking, and perhaps even their taste in porn.”

“Chances are that the archived history of past searches you have undertaken runs for many, many pages, so the first thing you may wish to do is to download it — so you can have a permanent record of just how carefree you have been with your Googling,” Cluley reports. “Of course, what you may very well like to do is copy me, by not only deleting the search history that Google stores on its servers, and also prevent future searches from being saved.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If your Google search history isn’t blocked, block it!

35 Comments

        1. I concur. I’ve been supporting DuckDuckGo and it keeps getting better. For general searches, it’s great. I go back to Gaangle when I’m looking for something detailed that DuckDuckGo can’t yet handle.

    1. easier said than done. websites redirect you to google maps, google subsidiaries serve you ads, google street view cars sniff your networks, google software developers sidestep your browser privacy settings…

  1. I went to the site the author gave and it is a sign in page for those that have a Google account. I do not have a Google account. Does this mean there is no history of my searches?

    1. I have the same question as Dave. The full article suggests that without an account, Google doesn’t have a file. But there are other ways of tracking users.

      I have never had a Google account, and when Google bought YouTube and demanded I create a new YouTube account, I would not. So now I wonder — has Google been tracking me through my old YouTube account?

      I try to avoid Google by using StartPage and DuckDuckGo. Sometimes, however, DuckDuckGo fails, as do image searches using StartPage.

  2. Replace the term “Google” with “Apple’s Siri” and the effect is the same. All firms, including Apple, are datamining their users with impunity. Why? Because nobody reads the small print on their user agreements, and governments are owned by corporations, which means digital privacy protection will never become law.

      1. Like it or not, I fear Mike is correct.

        http://www.apple.com/privacy/ all sounds great, but it doesn’t offer any guarantees. none. Apple still allows 3rd party apps to collect and accrue databases of everything you do on iOS. That includes almost all major developers. Apple claims that it anonymizes your data, but Apple’s user agreements state:

        “Apple and its partners, licensees and third party developers may provide certain services through your iOS Device that rely upon location information. To provide and improve these services, where available, Apple and its partners, licensees and third party developers may transmit, collect, maintain, process and use your location data, including the real-time geographic location of your iOS Device, road travel speed information, location search queries, and location of where you purchase and launch applications. The location data and queries collected by Apple are collected in a form that does not personally identify you and may be used by Apple and its partners, licensees and third party developers to provide and improve location-based products and services. By using any location-based services on your iOS Device, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its partners’, licensees’ and third party developers’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing and use of your location data and queries to provide and improve such products and services.”

        “By using Apple Pay, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its subsidiaries’ and agents’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing, and use of all of the foregoing information, to provide Apple Pay functionality. Apple Pay data that has been disassociated from you may be retained for a limited period of time to generally improve Apple Pay and other Apple products and services.”

        You data is also not guaranteed secure on the iCloud:
        “You acknowledge that Apple is not responsible or liable in any way for any Content provided by others and has no duty to pre-screen such Content. However, Apple reserves the right at all times to determine whether Content is appropriate and in compliance with this Agreement, and may pre-screen, move, refuse, modify and/or remove Content at any time, without prior notice and in its sole discretion, if such Content is found to be in violation of this Agreement or is otherwise objectionable.”

        “Apple shall use reasonable skill and due care in providing the Service, but, TO THE GREATEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE BY APPLICABLE LAW, APPLE DOES NOT GUARANTEE OR WARRANT THAT ANY CONTENT YOU MAY STORE OR ACCESS THROUGH THE SERVICE WILL NOT BE SUBJECT TO INADVERTENT DAMAGE, CORRUPTION, LOSS, OR REMOVAL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, AND APPLE SHALL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE SHOULD SUCH DAMAGE, CORRUPTION, LOSS, OR REMOVAL OCCUR. It is your responsibility to maintain appropriate alternate backup of your information and data.”

        Bottom line: Apple runs an ad agency too. It makes money by sharing data with 3rd party software vendors. Apple enables shameful companies like Google and Facebook and Twitter on its platform, knowing full well that these companies record everything you type. Why can’t Apple just stop advertising on all its iOS devices and be satisfied with the huge profits it already makes on its hardware and software?

        1. Is there ever anything useful said by anonymous coward trolls? Go pick your nose, ‘Green’. Your picking on silverhawk1 is the result of your angst about the fact that your boogers are ‘Green’.

          It’s fun to be childish at the childish.

          1. @ Green – thanks!

            @ Derek — so anonymity (i.e., ultimate privacy) on behalf of other internet users is disrespected by you, but you hate Google? The irony is interesting.

            Do you or resident anonymous troll accusator silverhawk have any response to what myself or Green offered, or are you two just going to be childish yourselves?

            1. I hate people, such as yourself (evil ‘Mike’) who HATE and RUN. That makes you indeed an anonymous COWARD. So go insert yourself. Why do psycho-sadomasochists like you even bother to communicate? Me: My real name. Startling. (0_0)

            2. I’m still here, no running at all. If you want to have a reasonable conversation, then let’s do so. But if you’re going to just act like silverhawk and hurl unfounded insults at anyone and everyone who doesn’t worship as his altar, then I have better things to do.

              You make yourself look like an ass by calling people names online. Didn’t your mother teach you how to be civil?

            3. Shut up. “I’m still here” whoever the hell you REALLY are. Worthless grandstanding. Just another coward hiding behind a generic nick. And no, there’s no one to teach anyone to be civil to a willful asshole. Y’all have a nice day now!

  3. I wonder what the political candidates/offices have been searching for these past few years. Just a guess…

    1. How to delete incriminating emails from servers
    2. Anti-gay talking points
    3. False flag ideas
    4. Elephants having sex with donkeys

  4. If you think blocking your own access to your own search history accomplishes any difference on what google still stores and can access, you’re just stupid. I’ve seen videos featuring google employees filmed and published by Google stating they save everything, regardless of your history saving preferences, and even go as far as linking data to you when you’re not even logged in, by IP and MAC address etc. Not to mention even more data is likely collected and compiler AND linked to you than you think.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.