There’s been a lot of concern lately about Google’s newest changes in their privacy policy, which takes effect Thursday March 1st. The search engine giant has done a lot of controversial things recently in how they handle user information, like bypassing the privacy controls in the web browsers Safari and Internet Explorer to better track your online activity. They’ve done this to better generate advertising revenue with more accurately targeted ads based on the sites you search and visit. And if that weren’t bad enough the latest policy you can’t opt out of. It effectively knocks down the barriers that presently separate Google’s many products.

Your search history now can be combined with information that Google has gathered from their other products, such as YouTube, Gmail, Google+ and a dozen other products of Googledom. This will in fact allow everyone/s favorite Big Brother to compile a comprehensive digital profile on each and every one of us. Needless to say some people find this more than a little unsettling.

So the big question is what can you do about it? Here comes the bright side; luckily Google has allowed for users to partially wipe their search history and stop Google from recording it in the future. Can you say thank you, Google?

Say it with me now. “Thank you, Google!”

The process is fairly straight forward.

Go to https://www.google.com/history and sign in with your Google account information. Usually your Google Aps account or Gmail account. You’ll see a list of everything that you’ve ever searched for using the Google search engine.

If you want to wipe it all, click the “Remove All Web History” button or you can select and remove individual search items.

Now here’s another nice thing that Google does for us. (Don’t worry I won’t make you thank Google again. Once was enough.) When you remove all your history it pauses the recording of future searches. However your information isn’t really gone for good, Google has it archived still, but will no longer use it for targeted ads or custom search results and in about 18 months it gets partially set to anonymous so that it’s no longer associated with you. Yay! Now you can go back to just worrying about normal Facebook Stalkers.

You can also wipe the data Google has collected about you from their other products. I suggest heading over to the Data Liberation site for further instructions.

http://www.dataliberation.org

Well I hope this blog has been helpful in relieving some of the anxiety that has arisen over this whole thing. I personally am not too concerned about Google’s insatiable need to learn as much as they can about me, because after all it’s just nice to know there’s someone out there who cares.