by Doctor Science
Action Alert: Must be done today!
If it's not March 1st where you are, you're going to want to dump your Google histories *today*, before they get attached to the profile Google is building to track you all over the web.
Under the new policy, Google will be able to track and connect your movements across a pretty wide swath of the web if you're logged in to even a single Google service; e.g., if you're logged into Gmail in one tab, Google will know what YouTube videos you watch in other tabs, even if you don't have a YouTube account. It will also connect any searches you make through Google to your Google profile, if you're logged in to your Gmail (or YouTube, or Google Reader, or Picasa, or Blogger, etc.) account.Here's what you need to do TODAY:
It's not just big sites, either, or things you got to via a Google search; if you're logged in to a Google account and you go to a page that has a Google AdSense ad, or a Doubleclick ad, or uses Google Analytics, Google will know you were there, and will connect that information to your profile in its logs.
It's also going to assign one name across all your accounts -- presumably this is based on the base contact email you provide when you sign up for things (note: that's a guess on my part). So for instance if you signed up for Gmail using your ISP-provided email addy as a contact/alternative address, but picked a user/display name of FanGirl238, and signed up for Picasa using that same ISP-provided email as RealName15 so you could share photos with your family, Google will either turn your Gmail display name into RealName15, or turn your Picasa display name into FanGirl238.
It's worse on smartphones and tablets ...read more
Purging your Web history:I'm still working through arduinna's suggestions about dealing with Google's culinary plans, debating which things are necessary or not, but purging your history has to be done NOW, no waiting. For instance, I didn't think I was signed in on YouTube recently, but there were a lot of recently-watched vids in my YouTube history.
1. Log in to your google account
2. Click on your name in the upper right corner of the screen, then "Account services"
3. Under the "Services" section, look for "View, enable, or disable web history" and click on "Go to web history"
4. You'll be asked to sign in again; do so
5. Click on "Remove all web history".
6. This will also pause your web history, which means Google will stop storing your web searches. The pause will hold until/unless you turn it back on, so you've effectively disabled it.
If you have multiple Google accounts, you'll need to do this for each one.
Purging your YouTube viewing and search history:
1. Log in to your YouTube account
2. Click on your name in the upper right corner of the screen, then "Video Manager"
3. Click on the History tab in the left column
4. Click "Clear all viewing history" to clear all the videos you've viewed.
5. Click "Pause viewing history"
6. Click "Search history"
7. Click "Clear all search history" to clear all the searches you've made
8. Click "Pause search history"
Again, you'll need to do this for any YouTube account you have.
NB: For both regular and YouTube search, this doesn't stop Google from collecting data going forward, and it doesn't erase your existing searches and viewing history from any databases. It just means that Google won't store your information permanently; after 18 months, some of the information associated with it will be anonymized. It can still be used for Google's own internal purposes, and can still be subpoenaed.
DO NOT DELAY, DO IT NOW