Google Chrome Will Use Your Browsing History For its AI Search

Google is adding a convenient search feature to Chrome that will make it easier to find the right content online, but it will use your search history to do so, which raises privacy concerns for many.

Google has recently updated its description of the upcoming “History search” feature in Chrome. This update confirms the new search feature: Chrome searches will no longer be limited to page titles and URLs. Instead, you’ll be able to search for content within the webpages you’ve visited, making it easier to find what you’re looking for even if you don’t remember the exact address or title. This feature will be powered by artificial intelligence (AI).

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This will let you go through your history and quickly find exactly what you’re looking for. This will work on the dedicated History page and even within the address bar using the “@history” followed by your search terms.

However, there’s a privacy concern to consider. Similar to cloud backups storing your memories on remote servers, using AI to search your history involves entrusting your data to potentially train AI models. Notably, Google acknowledges this by replacing placeholder text with a clear disclaimer: your data might be accessed by Google and its human reviewers.

Specifically, Google will collect your search terms, the content of the best-matching webpages in your history, and the generated search results. To ensure some level of privacy, Google assures users that webpage data is encrypted and stored directly on their device, accessible only when History Search is enabled.

While the potential benefits of Chrome’s History Search are undeniable, Google must make this feature opt-in. Forcing users into enabling the feature by default, especially to speed up AI development, could backfire and lead to user frustration over privacy concerns. Therefore, giving users the choice to activate History Search is essential for its successful adoption.

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