« WI State Law Library Offering Remote Access to Hein Online | Main | Article: The Fourth Amendment and Privacy Issues on the "New" Internet: Facebook.com and MySpace.com »

Google Web History Has Been Tracking Your Searches for Years

If you have a Google account (like Gmail, Google News, etc.), you might be surprised to learn that Google is keeping track of your Web activity. We're taking every day, every site, every search going back years (mine goes back to 2005). They call it your Web History.

Here's the explanation from Google:

You know that great web site you saw online and now can't find? With Web History, you can view and search across web pages you've visited in the past, including Google searches. Web History also provides interesting trends on your web activity, such as which sites you visit most frequently and what your top searches are. Finally, Web History helps deliver more personalized search results based on what you've searched for and which sites you've visited.

OK, now while I admit that could be useful in some situations, mostly I just find it creepy. Worse yet, if you happen to find out someone else's Google password, you can view their info, too. Or, if you share a computer with someone else (like a family member) and you don't log out, you can see their searches - or they can see yours if you use the computer when they are still logged in. Heck, you can even create a Web History RSS feed.

Fortunately, you can delete your search history, either specific searches or the entire search history.

Source: LawLibrary Blog