Privacy Law

Want to Delete Web History Before Google Gathering Takes Effect? EFF Shows How


If you’d like to thwart Google’s plans to combine your online browsing history with data gathered from the company’s other products, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is offering some help.

Google plans to begin combining your data into a single cauldron on March 1. On that date, the search engine will combine your Web history with information gathered from products such as YouTube and Google Plus to create advertising and targeted reminders. The information can reveal sensitive information such as your interests, sexual orientation, religion and health concerns, EFF says.

EFF is offering step-by-step instructions on how to delete your Web history along with screen shots of the pages you will see. First, EFF says, sign in to your Google account. Then go to https://www.google.com/history, click “remove all Web History” and click OK. After taking these steps, your Web history will remain off for that account until you enable it again.

If you have more than one account, you will have to repeat the steps for each one.

EFF notes in an update that disabling browsing history won’t stop Google from gathering and keeping the information for internal purposes, though the records will be “partially anonymized” after 18 months. And law enforcement could still seek the information from Google.

Updated to include direct link to history page and to include information in updated EFF post.

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