One of my chores this weekend involved searching Google on my home computer to figure out the hours of the local dump. And the record of the search is right there on the Google home page on my phone.

Google today rolled out a new feature on iPhone and Android devices that shows a user’s latest searches for places under a new “recent” icon in the Google mobile web interface.

It’s a handy trick when you need to use your phone on the go to find a location that you searched for back at your desk.

It’s also interesting from the perspective of user privacy, at a time when the company is under scrutiny because of the recent unification of its privacy policy.

Google says the feature works when users have their web history enabled and are logged into their Google accounts when they search, and also on their phones. Better, in my mind, would be an option to turn off this specific feature, without having to log out or disable web history.

For example, what if I didn’t want someone else in my family who picked up my phone to know I had been to the dump? (For whatever reason.) I could have logged out, switched to incognito mode or paused my search history when I conducted the original search, but as a user I’d prefer something more fine tuned, to be able to opt out of this specific feature without having to do things that affect the rest of my search experience.

The company says the info is available on the phone under the “recent” icon for about a day.

Comments

  • http://twitter.com/jclaussftw Jason Gerard Clauss

    Advice: Don’t search for “Interracial midget porn” on your computer then let a friend Google something on your phone.

  • Richard Heath

    If I can’t turn this off, I will uninstall Google search from my phone.

  • Dar

    This is an an invasion of my privacy! I am not even signed in to Google at work , how do they to send it to my phone? Not cool..at all.

  • jimmy mcfucko

    fuck you google. fuuuck you for this one is all I can say

  • Loser

    I wasn’t logged into my Google account on my home pc and it still showed up on my phone. Wtf. I guess nothing is private anymore.

  • mrphil79

    My searches are showing up on other people’s phones and computers – when they obviously should not be.
    Anyone know how to shut this off? I can’t search for anything without my neighbor knowing what I searched for.

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