Here is why you should think twice before you log in to Google Chrome or use Gmail. If you do either of those, then Google can associate your search history with your name. If you do not, Google can still track you, but it might not always be able to associate your name and email (i.e., Google account) with your searches. If privacy is a primary concern for you, here is how to locate and remove your Google search history.
Even if you do not log in to your account, Google can still put a tracking cookie in your browser and track you by an ID, but not your Google ID. Still, given enough time they should be able to figure out who you are as advertising companies do that. Cell phone companies and retailers sell their data to data brokers which allow advertisers to track you. Read about that here. Remember that Google is the biggest advertiser of all, so do not give away all your secrets to them.
Do you want Google to know if you are:
- HIV positive?
- banking offshore to avoid taxes?
I would think not.
Beware of Logging in to Chrome
Google tells you to log in to Chrome so that you can have the same bookmarks regardless of what device you are using: your PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Google claims it is convenient for you. It is actually convenient for them.
Here are the cookies in my browser now for the domain accounts.google.com. What any of them mean is a company secret. Like all cookies you cannot read them because they are encrypted. However, the secret part is what each cookie actually means to Google (e.g., which one is your Google Account user ID).
(I used the Chrome Add-in Cookie Manager to see this.)
Here is another view of my cookies. This time it shows all Google sites and not just the login web page.
Again, I have no idea what these cookies mean as Google keeps that a secret. You can see cookies this way in Chrome by going to the following: Settings>Advanced Settings>Content Settings>All Cookies and Site Data
If you want to delete all those cookies associated with Google, enter Google in the search box and select Remove All Shown.
Show your Google Search History
1.To download your Google search history or see it online go to https://history.google.com/. It will ask you to log in to Google, which you can only do if (1) you have a Gmail account, (2) your email is hosted by Google, or (3) you use Google Applications such Google Docs.
2.Here is it.
3.AAt the top right-hand side of the screen, click the gear icon and select Download.
4.It looks like you can also delete items, but only a few at a time. There is no way to select all records on a page or records going back all the way in time. Google, of course, uses that information for business purposes to make its advertising more valuable. Therefore, it is not going to let you delete all of it.