Google Has Made Your Entire Search History Available Online
Probably the last tool you'd want to use on Google.
April 21, 2015
Want to see every last term you've ever searched on Google? Yeah, probably not. But just in case you're curious about the twisted inner workings of your browsing mind, Google is now letting you download all the searches you've ever made while you've been logged into your Gmail account. Every search. Tempted?
According to The New Daily, Google's had this feature available since January, but they've kept pretty quiet on this one. In fact, no one really flagged it until blogger Alex Chitu was all,' ICYMI Google's got all your secrets so you might as well take a sneaky peek'.
Google's even given you a step-by-step guide to airing out your online closet. "You can download all of your saved search history to see a list of the terms you’ve searched for," says this Google support page. "This gives you access to your data when and where you want." Remember (and this isn't really news to anyone), this also means that Google can also see your entire search history when they want. But you knew that, and pressed enter anyway huh? Not even an incognito window in sight.
Here's how to look into the terrible recesses of your own shameful mind. And in case you were thinking Google's not on your side entirely here, they do flag the probability of 'sensitive data' within the folder; so you're really making your own bed here.
How to download a copy of your past searches (if y'wanna):
- Visit your Web & App Activity page.
- In the top right corner of the page, click the Options icon and then click Download.
- Click Create Archive.
- When the download is complete, you’ll get an email confirmation with a link to the data.
Big ol' heads up. Downloading your past searches does not delete it from your Web & App Activity page. So looking does not equal wiping. Want to learn how to delete your searches and browsing activity? Google's also got a support page for that.
So where does your sordid information go once you've peered through your search terms? When you download your past searches, a copy of your history will be saved to your Google Drive as a ZIP archive. Then — if you're one to play with fire — you can download the files to your computer if you want a copy. Here's a pro tip. Don't download them while you're using someone else's computer, say a work laptop or a public computer. Or just don't download them at all.
So there's that. Go ahead and peek into Pandora's Box. We're probably going to sit this one out — you can't argue 'in the name of journalism' for every questionable search.
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