Google stores a record of everything you search for on Google.com if you’re logged into your Google Account. You can clear your local browser history, but that won’t clear what’s stored on Google’s servers. While you’ve been able to dig into the Google Account page and find an activity stream of search history, Google is making it a lot easier to delete this history within search itself today.
You’ll now be able to review and delete recent search history within Google search itself. Google’s privacy controls won’t be buried away in settings anymore, and the company is even providing quicker access to controls like disabling ad personalization or even preventing Google sites from saving activity. Ultimately, these changes are designed to make Google users a little more aware of the control they have over their account.
Google is making these changes in search on desktop and mobile web today, with iOS and Android updates to follow in the coming weeks. Google is also planning to expand these same changes to services like Maps next year, in an effort to overhaul the company’s privacy controls.
These new privacy controls come at a time when there’s increased focus on the work that giant tech companies are doing to protect privacy. Facebook has faced a major privacy scandal this year, and its recent security breach could be a big test of Europe’s new GDPR rules. Google is also facing mounting pressure from Congress over a recent Google+ privacy flaw, and its new privacy changes are arriving on the same day that Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling for comprehensive federal privacy laws.