It's hard to keep things truly private on the internet.
The policy will allow Google to combine all of the information it already collects about you through your searching and browsing histories, as well as from your YouTube (a Google-owned site), Google Calendar, Gmail and Android phones.
Google says that the information will be used for more effectively targeted ads and "better search results." It's not insidious by nature, but a powerful (and trusted) company associating so much data about you with your name, then using that data to manipulate your spending, is a little creepy.
The company is taking the hard approach: If you continue using Google products after March 1, you will be subject to the new policy. But we don't want to leave our Gmail!
What You Can Do
There is one preventative measure we can take, though: clearing our current Google history before the policy goes into effect. By clearing the information the company already has about us through our searches and sites visited, we'll make it unavailable to aggregate within the new policy. Tech News Daily recommends the following steps, which take about two minutes:
- Go to Google.com and sign into your account.
- Use the dropdown menu under your name in the upper right-hand corner to access your settings. You'll now be on your accounts overview page.
- Find the section called Services and you'll see a link to "View, enable or disable web history." Here you can remove all of your web history or selected items. When you disable your web history, it will remain turned off until you turn it back on.