Can Others See My YouTube History on My Google Account?
By Todd Bowerman
Google syncs all of your activity across its many platforms into one detailed user profile that shows who you are, what you do and what you like. It then uses this information to improve its services, along with targeting its advertising to your preferences. While Google does track quite a bit of your Web usage, your YouTube viewing history is not publicly available. If you work on a shared computer or let others use your PC, clearing your viewing history may be a good way to protect your privacy.
Your YouTube History
When logged into your Google account, the videos you view on YouTube will be logged into your YouTube viewing history. This information is not publicly viewable and can only be seen by someone logged directly into your Google account. The YouTube history function is designed to give you an easy and convenient method for watching previously viewed videos and does not broadcast information to third parties or friends.
Clearing Your History
You can always log out of your YouTube account before browsing to stop the site from tracking your video usage. If you have a video history you would like to clear out, you can do so by clicking your username on any YouTube page and selecting “Video Manager.” Click the “History” button on the left-hand side of the screen and click “Clear Viewing History” to remove all previously watched videos from the list. You can also remove individual items by clicking the checkbox next to the videos and hitting “Remove.”
Google’s Account History
Google does more than keep track of your YouTube activity. If you’re logged into your Google account, everything you do on a Google site is logged. To view your full Web activity and a complete log of what Google is recording, go to Google.com and log into your Google account. Click the drop-down next to your username and select “Account.” From there, select “Manage your web history.” Here you will be able to see all of your searches on Google’s image, map, video, shopping and search engine platforms.
Google’s Information Use
Do note that just because you delete your YouTube or web history, no change occurs on Google’s side of the equation. Clearing your history prevents anyone from seeing your activity by logging into your account, but Google still maintains the records on its servers. Google cooperates with law enforcement and keeps a long record of the activities of its users should those records be needed over the course of an investigation. Google will also use your information and activity to tailor ads for you and predict what content you want to see, regardless of whether you clear your history.