August 3, 2007 6:07 AM PDT

Google launches Web History tool in U.K.

Google has made its Web History tool available in the United Kingdom.

The tool, launched in the United States in April, enables users to find Web sites they have visited, as well as edit or delete items from their Web history. It is an opt-in service.

The launch is part of a wider Google personalized-search initiative that the company's global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, has acknowledged raises privacy issues.

"Personalized search does raise privacy issues," Fleischer wrote earlier this year in the Financial Times. "In order for it to work, search engines must have access to your Web search history. And there are some people who may not want to share that information because they believe it is too personal. For them, the improved results that personalized search brings are not matched by the 'cost' of revealing their Web history."

Fleischer argued that Google can handle this privacy issue by asking users if they want to opt in to the service when they open an account.

Google uses the information gathered from users' search histories for marketing purposes.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
personalized search, Google Inc., U.K., U.S.

 

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