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October 25, 2018

Google is giving you more control of your search history and privacy

by John_A

Google has long faced criticism for the way that it collects data, but the search engine is now adding in more ways for controlling for what is shared online.  A blog post on Wednesday, October 24, announced consumers now have more ways to control Google search history and privacy options across desktop and mobile web.

As part of the first change, Google is tweaking the search history experience so that removing searches no longer requires a visit to the main account page. Now new are options to delete or review search histories directly by heading to the bottom of the Your Search activity section in the Your Data section of the search page.

Searches can be deleted from the last hour, and any search activity can also be removed. A full list of any given search is also available on the page, and there are even links to find out more on how sharing activity data can make the Google experience better.

“Now, we’re bringing these controls to you — from directly within Search, you can review or delete your Search activity and quickly get back to finding what you were searching for,” Google said.

The second half of the changes involve making it easier to tweak Google account privacy controls which may relate to Search. This includes options for saving activity on Google, sites, apps, services, and associated information like location. Also included are options for disabling the saving a recording of voice and audio input, and ad personalization.

“For example, to control the ads you see when you search, we give you access to your Ad Settings. Additionally, you can access your Activity Controls to decide what information Google saves to your account and uses to make Search and other Google services faster, smarter and more useful,” explains Google.

Currently, these improvements are limited to Google on desktop and mobile web. An update is also coming for the Google app on iOS and Android in the coming weeks which should introduce the privacy changes. Google also is planning on expanding privacy features to Maps, and its many other products, noting that it is “continuously working to build privacy that works for everyone.”

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