Google is now offering the chance for users to view and download all of their previous searches. Users can go back as far as they wish in terms of past search results. Every search that a person has ever completed is now at their disposal thanks to Google. A Google blog recently announced that users can view their entire search histories through a simple download. In this blog, users were directed to go to Google Web History and hit the download button if they wish to gain this information. Users have been able to view search history previously, but until now have not had the download option made available to them.
Users can create archives for their data, but only if they have not made alterations to their privacy settings. According to CNET, all past searches can be exported to Google Drive first and then downloaded after that. Searches are placed into a zipped archive and can be organized yearly or even quarterly. Supposedly once the information is downloaded, Google will do this automatically for users.
This has been a work in progress for the company over the past year. Google knows that users have a right to access their personal data even data from years and years ago and they want to make this information easily accessible to people. The article on CNET mentioned how even companies such as Facebook have tried to make content as accessible to people as possible. Critics have complained in recent years that this has been an issue that needs to be resolved as people should be allowed to obtain their personal data without difficulty or restrictions. Activists have even been rallying to remedy this situation immediately and it seems as if Google is on the path to doing just that. Syracuse News said that this is just another step in a process that started back in 2011 with Google Takeout, which allows users to easily access their files and take them away from Google for their own personal use.
Google has made many attempts over the years to personalize web browsing through tracking the use and searches of people. The goal of the company is for users to be able to get what they need and have a positive overall experience. Aside from basic users, this is said to be beneficial to the government as well in that it can help to better track criminals and especially potential terrorists. What these people have searched for could say a lot about their actions or indicate potential threats. Government officials have the authority to subpoena vital information and search results that they consider necessary for investigations and rely on companies such as Google to provide this essential data, as stated by The Hill. Privacy of individuals is a factor, but Google is also concerned with safety and this could help to pick out potential threats.
Google aims to provide users with as much accessibility as possible and this new feature can give them just that. Now with the option to access your past data, a person has so much more available to them for their personal use and have the right to download information that belongs to them.
By Heather Granruth