Google now tracks account holders’ internet searches across platforms: Gmail, YouTube, Blogger, Google Maps, and so on-in fact, any of their 60 services.
This will be available to advertisers so they can stream relevant advertisements to your computer.
No personal details will be shared with advertisers
This only applies if you are logged in to any of your Google accounts.
If you are not signed in, then any internet searches will not be tracked for this purpose.
You can opt out as follows:
(a) Sign in to your google account
(b) Go to www.google.com/history
(c) Click “remove all web history”
If you want to hear a Radio 4 discussion about this, follow the link-it is one minute into the programme.
There are also a number of search engines available-such as DuckDuckGo which do not record your search history that you might want to experiment with if you are concerned about privacy. The actual ramifications of Google having all this personal data have not really yet manifested themselves-similarly Facebook has a vast amount of personal data about its users.
The saying goes-if you don’t have to pay for the product-then YOU are the product!
If you don’t want to be the product then you have to start thinking quite seriously about how you are going to manage your digital footprint so that third parties cannot monetise or otherwise benefit from your data. This is the most optimistic reading of what is happening-for any one who is more paranoid or suspicious, the power that the big internet companies are beginning to have over us in terms of what they know about our lives is most concerning.