Under Google's new policy beginning March 1, user data from all Google-owned sites and products -- such as Gmail, Google+, YouTube, and Google's search engine -- will be shared across those sites. For example, a user's search queries will help determine what ads appear on other Google sites like Gmail.
But the policy change will give Google access to data that some users may consider personal, such as location, age, religion, and sexual orientation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation points out.
There's a simple way to block that, the EFF says.
The process takes just a few clicks, but it must be done to all of a user's Google accounts for which a user doesn't want her information shared.
Here's how to remove your Google web history, according to the EFF:
- Sign-in to your Google account.
- Go to https://www.google.com/history.
- Click "Remove all Web History" and click "OK."
A few more caveats: Google can still share "removed" web history data with law-enforcement upon request, the EFF says. And clicking on "Remove all Web History" actually just "pauses" Google's web history function. A user can re-enable the function at any time.