Stop Google Following You
News - General Technology News
Thursday, 01 March 2012 08:15

You may have heard or read about the latest changes to Google's privacy settings.  It is possible that you don't understand how the changes affect you.  You may even have decided that you don't want Google to be able to log your internet browsing history but don't know how to turn it off.  We have put together this article to try to explain the implications and show you how to turn this option off in Google if you want to.



What are the changes to the Google privacy settings?

With effect from 1st March 2012, Google has introduced major changes to it’s privacy policy.  Google will be able to follow your internet browsing logging which sites you visit , which videos you watch and what you search for.  This enables them to build up a comprehensive profile including potentially: your age, location, sexual orientation, marital status, religious beliefs and health status. Previously, although this data was collected, it was not linked to your Google user account/Gmail address now it is.

NB:  European data protection agencies have warned that the changes could be illegal. For example the French regulator CNIL warned that following “preliminary analysis” it did not appear meet the requirements of the European directive on Data Protection.

Civil liberties groups are warning that 9 out of 10 users have not read the new rules and do not understand the implications.

How do these changes affect me?

If you decide not to opt out of this change, Google will use the data to target advertising far more effectively, attracting a higher price from advertisers.  Potentially if you are searching for health symptoms you might get an ad for the latest wonder drug which may or may not actually work, this is putting the advertiser’s needs first. 

After 18 months that data will be partially anonymised.

How can I stop Google from logging my browsing history? 

If you want to you can choose not to have Google logging your browsing history by following these simple instructions:

Log in to your Gmail account:



Once you have logged in and the Gmail screen has finished loading, click on the drop down arrow next to your avatar on the top right hand corner of the screen.  Then click on Account Settings:


Where to find Gmail account settings


This will open the following screen.  You will see towards the bottom of the screen there is a link to Go to Web History, click on that:


Finally, on the next screen, you will see a button that says "No thanks".  If you click this button it will stop Google from monitoring your browsing activities.






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