The real issue is what Google will do with the data they collect. If it is just a matter of using it to display targeted ads or for providing data for their Personalized Results feature, then I don’t think too many people will have an issue with it. However, with the new policy you are giving them permission to track your actives on any Google property and use the data however they wish. That has some Big Brother connotations that has many people concerned.
There are ways to tell Google to not collect data about your web activities. If you have Google accounts, they have been collecting data about your activities for several years. If you are concerned about the data that Google has collected, you can see and delete the history that they have collected thus far. Here is what you need to do.
- Log into your Google account at https://accounts.google.com/.
- After signing in, you may see any one of several screens. If you see the buttons next to a section titled, “One Policy, One Google Experience”, you will need to click the OK, Got It button to opt in. You have no choice about whether or not to opt in if you wish to continue to use Google’s free services.
You may then see a box that allows you to view your web history , or you may see a dashboard page with a section that is titled, Services. If you see the Services section, click the link next to “View, enable, or disable web history”. An alternative method to reach the History page is to change the URL in your to http://www.google.com/history after logging into the account. Another alternative is to select “Account Settings” from the drop-down box in the top-right, and then select “View, enable, or disable web history”.
- If Web History has been enabled, you should see a button that says, “Remove All Web History”.
Click it and then click the OK button to erase the data that Google has collected. Clicking these buttons should also turn off the Web History feature.
- This is what you want to see when you visit the web history page.
If you have multiple Google accounts, you will need to follow this process for each account. This not just for GMail accounts, but also for any other Google accounts that you have set up for AdWords, Analytics, AdSense, YouTube, Places, etc.
There are growing concerns about a number of free services that violate their own privacy polices. FaceBook has been one of the worst offenders who has been caught several times revealing and sharing private information about users.
Do what is necessary to protect your privacy. Everything on the Internet is not always as it appears to be.