Google, one of the biggest stashers of our personal data, just updated Google Search — AKA Google.com — to make it easier for you to review and edit what search data the company stores. We explain how to clear your search history off of Google's servers using this new tool.
The Google Search page now features a link below the search bar that will take you directly to a new data privacy hub which lets you scroll through and delete parts of whole swaths of your search history. It also gives you easy access to “Google-wide” controls, such as tracking activity on Google’s sites and ad personalisation.
To be clear, these are all controls that we could already access through Google’s account settings menu. The amount of data the company is collecting and our ability to influence it has not changed.
However, for users who are newly concerned about data privacy, or simply like to delete our search history frequently, this feature makes the process quicker to perform and easier to understand.
The new security link is currently available on the web and mobile versions of the Google Search page, but in a post on its Keyword blog, Google said it planned to add similar links to the Google app on iOS and Android in “the coming weeks”, and to other apps, starting with Google Maps, in 2019.
Data privacy is on everyone’s minds. While it is not a huge advance in terms of our level of control, making it easy and obvious that protecting your data can and should be a habit is a small step in the right direction. Now if only Facebook would follow suit.