Google Privacy Policy Changes Are Live: Here Are Your Options

 
 
By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2012-03-01
 
 
 

Tune Out

The cleanest way to avoid Google's privacy policy changes is to avoid Google altogether. Think you can do it? Good luck.

Tune Out

Bing It

While Google gets more than 1 billion searchers, it's not the only search engine available. You can go to Microsoft's Bing or Yahoo, which is powered by Bing. Microsoft has done some really nice work with Bing, and we're not just talking about the arty home pages.

Bing It

Data Liberation

However, you may have so much data in Google that you're afraid to leave. Well, you can take your data with you, thanks to Google's Data Liberation Takeout export tool.

Data Liberation

Gone Google, Stayin Google

Of course, the challenge becomes: where to take your data. Bing would love it, but have fun getting it in there. You may want to stick with Google, in which case there are other ways to keep your data from being passed around like a peace pipe excessively under the new policies. Here's one way: Don't log into your user account (if you even have one)! You can still search Google.com, watch skateboarding dogs on Google and look up directions on Google Maps without signing into a Google account. We did it here with YouTube.

Gone Google, Stayin Google

Disabling Web History

Users who want to keep Google from combining their Web History with the data they have about users in YouTube and other products can stop their Web History from being recorded. Read on to learn how to disable Web history. It's still not too late!

Disabling Web History

Log In

Log into your Google account per usual. Navigate to https://www.google.com/history/, which will look something like this.

Log In

Click Remove

Click "remove all Web History." Removing Web History pauses it until a user enables it again. CNN explains how to clear data from YouTube, Chrome and Gmail chat logs.

Click Remove

Never, Forever

This is a delicate matter, as Electronic Frontier Foundation member Eva Galperin noted:Disabling Web History in your Google account will not prevent Google from storing your information and using it internally. Data will be partially "anonymized" after 18 months, and Google will no longer customize search results for users. However, with Web History enabled, Google will keep these records forever. Read this Web History FAQ.

Never, Forever

Another Way Out

Abine, meanwhile, makes Protected Search, which users may download here so that Google.com searches are processed through a sort of proxy by which Google can't tie them back to the searcher. Caveat: It doesn't work when users are logged into their Google Accounts.

Another Way Out

Chrome

Not every Google service is lumped under the blanket policy. Chrome, Google Books and Google Wallet continue to have their own privacy policies, keeping them separate from the data-sharing Google enables under its 60-service umbrella policy.

Chrome

Rocket Fuel