Your Web history, courtesy of Google
Google launches a new tool that lets you see your entire Web history. Cool tool, or kind of scary?
Google's has , who argue that combining the search engine giant with a major online advertising firm puts too much information in the hands of one company.
The launch of Google's new Web History product should send those fears into overdrive.
The new service allows you to search and view your entire online life, including which pages you visited and when. Google will also analyze your online travels, revealing which sites you visit most frequently and what your top searches are.
The data is available only when you log on with your Google account and password, and Google does have a feature that lets you remove items or turn off the service. The tool itself can be extremely useful, both to users and to developers. But many bloggers looked askance at a tool that lays right out in the open the fact that Google knows just about everything you see and everything you do online.
Blog community response:
"Yes, that is truly amazing, if it works, and is a feature that could make one overlook all of the creepiness of being shown the reality of everything Google knows about you when you use one service for searching, mapping, comparing products, sending email, and then, embed a tool of theirs in your web browser."
--Rex Hammock's Weblog
"Outside of the world of users who gawk at every shiny new thing on the web, though, this is going to give people the heebie-jeebies in a way that we're probably only used to getting from Microsoft. In fact, it's probably safe to say that no other major web company could release this product today; The backlash from the user community of players like Microsoft, Yahoo, or AOL would simply be too strong."
"Should you be concerned? Of course. Everyone should be concerned about their private data. Everyone should really think about what is being logged and how it is being used. But we also make tradeoffs. We want certain things from companies, and to get them, we have to give up some of our privacy often trusting it will be protected."
--Search Engine Land