01 May iGoogle – Too Personal?
As covered by Google Blogoscoped, the new “iGoogle” logo refers to the personalization of Google. I use Gmail and have customized home page with my favorite RSS feeds, but when is too personal too much?
I was surprised to find out a few months ago that Google Web History had been tracking ALL of my search history under my profile – not just for their own stats, but for anyone logged in under my profile to view! That’s when I thought things had gone a little too far.
Think about it… if you’re sharing a computer in the house, Google will collect and make readily available all of the searches you and anyone else has made while logged into your profile.
You may have given someone your Gmail password – if so they can now see much more than just your email.
Also, I sometimes log into client’s Google Analytics accounts – If I don’t log out and they have Search History enabled, I can see all of the things they were searching for and they get a record of all the searches I made until I remembered to log out.
Luckily, you can turn search history “off,” and clear your history, but like everyone else that I’ve talked to, search history was enabled and collecting data long before we ever realized it.
Google spins the search history feature differently. They highlight the benefits of being able to search through your OWN history to find things that you may have forgotten to bookmark, or didn’t know you wanted to bookmark until too late. I think there are other checks and balances for that, like my browser’s history tool and the results page link color change from blue to purple that shows which links I’ve clicked on in the past.
Google search history just seems a little TOO personal – what do you think?