Google Integrates AI in Chrome History, Privacy Issues Arise

Google is rolling out AI across all its products and Chrome is part of that. Recently they added AI to the browsing history feature in Chrome. This means AI will be used to help you find and retrieve websites you’ve visited before. But this has raised questions about how much AI should have access to and learn from our browsing history and data.

For example, paying for cloud backups is seen as an annoyance until you lose or have your device stolen and the backup saves your data. Similarly, AI in Chrome’s History Search will help you find web pages based on the content not just the page title or URL. Last week a research Leopeva64 discovered signs of this new AI feature but details were still unclear.

Luckily Chrome is evolving and Google has updated the History Search feature. According to the update, you’ll soon be able to search your browsing history based on the actual content of web pages. This will make browsing history search much faster whether you’re browsing through the History page or searching directly from the address bar using '@history' followed by keywords.
Despite the benefits, the AI in browsing history raises valid privacy concerns. Leopeva64’s discovery showed Google’s acknowledgement of this through a disclaimer. It says Google and its human reviewers may access certain data such as search terms, content from relevant web pages and AI-generated outputs. Google assures that this data is encrypted and stored locally on your device to support the History Search feature.

While AI needs data to work, privacy conscious users will find these disclosures uncomfortable. Locally processing data on the device would be more private. This is similar to Microsoft’s Copilot AI’s Recall feature which was criticized and delayed due to similar privacy concerns.

The acceptance of Chrome’s History Search feature will depend on if it’s an optional feature or a default one to speed up AI development. User reaction will be key since the feature is still under development by Google, so we have to watch and wait, for now.

Read next: Analyst Forecasts 58 Billion Queries from AI Overview by 2024, $17 Billion Ad Revenue by 2027
Previous Post Next Post