By now you probably know that, starting tomorrow, Google will begin accessing some of your personal information for marketing purposes.
It’s not the first time Google has been able to obtain personal information, but the new policy will allow the tech giant to get your search history or other shared information through any Google account (Google+, Gmail, Google Chrome, YouTube) and use it to expose you to ads that might be tailored towards your personal preferences. As you could imagine, it might get pretty embarrassing for some people, considering search history alone.
There are some measures to take, though, to avoid having your information accessed by Google for advertising purposes. Consider taking these steps, posted by the American Civil Liberties Union:
— Sign into your Google account
— Click the dropdown menu next to your name at the top of the screen. Choose account settings.
— Find the services section. Under services, choose “view, enable, disable web history.” Then click “Go to Web History.” Choose “Remove all web history.”
You’ll then see a box that says “Web history is paused.” This means Google can still see your search history and information, but it will not be associated with your accounts, preventing any targeted advertising to you.
Google has angered thousands of its users with the policy. The ACLU has an online petition against information sharing by companies like Google, Facebook and Yahoo.
“As stewards of our digital lives, companies like Google should be the first line of defense when it comes to keeping your private information private,” the ACLU said on its site.