Update: Google has just consolidated a lot of these features into the new My Account area. It’s got a better user interface and lets you view and erase your history as well as change your security settings.
Google keeps tabs on a lot of data about you. How and when you surf, the search terms you use, the pages you visit (if you visit them while logged into your Google Account from a Chrome browser, an Android device, or by clicking on them in Google.) Google also makes demographic assumptions based on analysis of that data.
Don’t panic. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There is a certain Big Brother-ish notion to all this stuff Google “knows” about you, but most of it is pretty ordinary, right? The Internet is powered by advertising. Wouldn’t you rather have ads that are relevant and might save you money on something you actually would buy? When you’re searching for something, wouldn’t you rather Google remember the sorts of things you usually click on in order to offer you results that are more relevant?
You can view what Google knows and erase only the things that you don’t want Google to consider when serving up your ads. Here’s an example. What if someone mentioned a Justin Bieber song and you Google it.
Hey, you don’t even like Justin Beiber, but now the banner ads in half your favorite websites are showing nothing but Justin Bieber. Erase it!
First step: log into your Google account and go to history.google.com
You should see something pretty similar to the screen capture I made of my history. No Justin Bieber here, but I did search for demotivational posters. Maybe I want to delete those.
Once you review your Google history, you can remove anything you don’t want to sit around in your Google history causing embarrassing ads or new and exciting discoveries for your children to accidentally find in your search history.
Just check the box to the left of the item and then click on the remove button.
You could do the same thing by clearing your browser history and cookies, but that only works on the computer you’re using.
Clearing it from your Google history works for searches from any computer where you were logged into your Google account.
But wait, there’s more. You can go beyond just deleting your history. You can actually download it, too.
If you’d like, you can download your Google history. Click on the settings icon and then click download. You’ll get a gigantic warning.
Download a copy of your data
Please read this carefully, it’s not the usual yada yada.
Create an archive of your search history data. This archive will only be accessible to you. We will email you when the archive is ready to download from Google Drive. Learn more
Important information about your Google data archives
- Do not download your archive on public computers and ensure your archive is always under your control; your archive contains sensitive data.
- Protect your account and sensitive data with 2-Step Verification; helping keep bad guys out, even if they have your password.
- If you have decided to take your data elsewhere, please research the data export policies of your destination. Otherwise, if you ever want to leave the service, you may have to leave your data behind.
Why such the big warning? Well, Google can make inferences about your gender, age, and shopping preferences, and so can anyone else with that data. If you’ve ever visited an embarrassing website or Googled something that could potentially be used against you, you may want to think carefully about how you store this data.
It is a good day in America. This morning, in a ringing endorsement of the Affordable Care Act and the rule of law, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 in King v. Burwell to uphold health care subsidies. The Court did not just uphold subsidies, it strongly defended the law, sending a message that serious legal threats to the case are over. Millions of people can rest easy, knowing they will still have access to quality, affordable health insurance.
Chief Justice Roberts penned the opinion, and in it he granted a sweeping victory for supporters of the law and a crushing blow to its conservative opponents. The opinion reads: “In a democracy, the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”
What’s most noteworthy about the opinion is how it was written. The Court did not employ the Chevron doctrine, which calls for the justices to defer to the relevant agency if a statute is ambiguous. Instead, the Court resolved the ambiguity of the law itself ruling that the Chevron deference does not apply to questions of “deep economic and political significance.” Because the Court did not employ the Chevron doctrine, the next presidential administration will not be able to reinterpret the law to strip away tax subsidies. In other words, if Congressional Republicans want to gut the Affordable Care Act, they are going to have to do it themselves, without the help of the Court. That’s a big deal.
Justice Scalia wrote the dissent, expressing his distaste for the Affordable Care Act colorfully. With the majority opinion upholding the law, “words no longer have meaning,” wrote Scalia. “We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.”
Justice Scalia, you can call it whatever you want. We will call it health care in America.
Because the Supreme Court did the right thing, the 16.4 million people that have gained insurance under the ACA can rest easy. The 8.7 million enrollees receiving tax credits do not have to worry about their insurance being made unaffordable. The 129 million people with pre-existing conditions no longer have to worry about losing coverage or facing significant premium increases. Women will not be discriminated against just for being women, and growth of health care costs can continue to slow.
While most of today’s attention has been on King v. Burwell, the Court ruled on another significant case this morning that should not be overlooked. In a surprising 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that housing policies could be deemed discriminatory based on “disparate impact.” In other words, discrimination can be proven by showing that the impact of a housing policy is discriminatory even if the discrimination was not intended. Even unintentional housing discrimination denies families access to the social, economic, and health benefits that come along with appropriate housing opportunities. And today, the Court recognized decades of long-standing precendent in ensuring the survival of an important tool to combat discrimination. For more details about this case, read this explanation from ThinkProgress.
BOTTOM LINE: After much wasted time and energy, the Supreme Court has rejected the second partisan attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act and helped solidify the future of health care in America. And with the fair housing ruling, the Court saved an important statute and acknowledged the ongoing fight to end discrimination. While both of these landmark decisions were fantastic, we should also remember something else: a more reasonable court may not have accepted them in the first place.
The US government is about to handover a beautiful stretch of national forest held sacred by the local Apache tribe — to a giant foreign mining company. Tribal leaders are doing all they can to stop this terrible mining project and if we join their call now we can help save this sacred land. Sign and spread the word:
At Widows Creek, we can use the plants’ many electric transmission lines to bring in lots of renewable energy to power our new data center. Thanks to an arrangement with Tennessee Valley Authority, our electric utility, we’ll be able to scout new renewable energy projects and work with TVA to bring the power onto their electrical grid. Ultimately, this contributes to our goal of being powered by 100% renewable energy.
In 2010, we were one of the first companies outside of the utility industry to buy large amounts of renewable energy. Since then, we’ve become the largest corporate renewable energy purchaser in the world (in fact we’ve bought the equivalent of over 1.5 percent of the installed wind power capacity in the U.S.). We’re glad to see this trend is catching on among other companies.
Of course, the cleanest energy is the energy you don’t use. Our Alabama data center will incorporate our state-of-the-art energy efficiency technologies. We’ve built our own super-efficient servers, invented more efficient ways to cool our data centers, and even used advanced machine learning to squeeze more out of every watt of power we consume. Compared to five years ago, we now get 3.5 times the computing power out of the same amount of energy.
Since the 1960s, Widows Creek has generated power for the region—now the site will be used to power Internet services and bring information to people around the world. We expect to begin construction early next year and look forward to bringing a Google data center to Alabama.
Posted by Patrick Gammons, Senior Manager, Data Center Energy and Location Strategy