Google implements new personal data protection controls
March 12, 2012, 12:00 am TWN
BERLIN--Google has implemented a new set of profile settings, unifying its data protection policies for more than 60 of its services and allowing the company to compile a profile of data for each user.
The services will no longer be available to anyone who doesn't agree to the new policies but Internet users are not totally helpless and can take control of their own Google data protection by following a few useful tips.
Deactivate your web protocol: Google uses a so-called web protocol to personalize search results and ads. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recommends users delete and deactivate their web history at http://google.com/history.
Avail of Google Dashboard: Google Dashboard can be accessed at http://google.com/dashboard and is designed for tweaking a user's privacy settings. Users can view, alter and delete their settings for all of Google's apps, including contacts, viewing history, playlists, and subscriptions.
Delete YouTube history: Google also stores all the videos you have viewed or searched for on Google subsidiary YouTube. The EFF recommends that users deactivate this option which is achieved via YouTube. This can also be done on the Google Dashboard's Video Manager facility by clicking on "pause viewing history" and "clear all search history" before disabling the search option.
Sign off Google before surfing the Internet: Where possible, users of Google should ensure that they are not signed into their Google account at the same time as surfing the Internet. The same applies when using YouTube.
Distribute data: It is also recommended that Google not be responsible for all of a user's data. There are other search engines, social networks and photo storage services that can be used.
Delete the browser cache: Users should ensure that their browser settings mean that cookies, temporary Internet files and browsing history are all cleared when the browser is closed.