Google will invoke its new, unified privacy policy on March 1st and if you’re worried about potential privacy issues then now is the time to get your Google account all set before the switch is flicked.

Once the new privacy policy comes into affect, your browsing history will become available to all other Google products. That means that while your browsing history is currently hidden away from Google’s applications, that will all change come March 1st.

While this may not be an issue to many, some will raise the concern that this browsing data can potentially contain details that they may not wish to be shared. Sexual orientation, location, interests and just about anything else could be gleaned by thumbing through someone’s Google browsing history, and come March 1st it is all fair game for all of Google’s products and services.

google-privacy-2012-01-24

If this sounds like something you might not be too keen on, there is a way to clear the browsing history right now, before Google opens it up to be plundered by Google’s ever-growing suite of applications and online products.

If you’re going to clear everything out now, you’ll need to:

  • Head on over to your Google account’s history page at www.google.com/history
  • Choose "Remove all Web History."

Web history

  • Click "OK"

Google Privacy OK

The best part of all this is that the selection you just made doesn’t only clear your browsing history, but it also pauses the collection of it. From now on, and until you tell Google otherwise, your browsing history will no-longer be saved and thus, it won’t be shared.

Of course, we’re all sharing our information with just about every service on the internet already, and whether the information Google has as part of your search history is really that important is a matter that will cause debate for some time to come. Google, Facebook and every other large online presence would rather we all shared our entire lives online, and so long as we get a service for free we’re perfectly happy to do so until a potential privacy issue crops up.

If you’re really that worried about privacy then it’s only a matter of time until the only way to be confident nothing is leaking out is to switch off your Wi-Fi, bolt the doors and close the windows. Sharing is becoming part and parcel of our digital lives, and turning of browsing history isn’t going to change any of that.

(via Engadget)

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