Reefer-addled paranoiacs rejoice: Just in time for 4/20 comes a report from Google Operating System, an unofficial Google blog, noting that Google has activated a feature that downloads your entire search history, including all the times you’ve searched for weed. That’s right, unless you’ve toggled the privacy settings on your account, the almighty Google keeps a record, tied to your identity, of every web search query you’ve sent to the service. It’s an all-encompassing list that definitely has entries for the times you’ve sought out links related to “how many pot brownies should i eat,” “how long does thc stay in your system,” or, say, for instance, “what happens if i dropped weed in a 55-gallon drum of lube.”
The terrifying master list of your every Internet whim has existed on Google’s servers for a long time. The recent change is that our beloved informational panopticon is now graciously allowing users to view their search archives for themselves. So you can create a handy self-incrimination kit on your own hard drive, which saves Google the trouble of caving to a federal subpoena on your behalf.
To get your archive, go to Google’s history page while logged into your account, click the gear icon, and select “Download.” After a brief pause—during which Google presumably alerts the NSA, DEA, and local police—you’ll receive a notice that your records are being prepared. You’ll get an email later when they’re ready. While you’re waiting, feel free to rip a couple of bong hits and remind your roommate that Google tracks, like, everything, and they’ve got algorithms that can tell what you’re thinking, and we’re basically computer slaves. Google probably knows you’re reading this article, and Google does not like it.