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I was recently using my personal google account on my work computer and some of my previous google searches appeared from my personal phone. I used Safari on my personal iPhone and I guess google.

So can work see that search history on my personal phone?

Maybe my google account was synced but I can’t access gmail on my work computer so I’m not sure why this showed up. Can they see my private searches or is it just pre filling from past searches from my private phone? Surely they cant access this from my private phone and it’s just google syncing somehow? I never used the work computer to search.

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    If you are logged into Google on your phone, and logged into the same Google account at work, then of course the search results would show up.
    – schroeder
    May 26, 2021 at 9:20
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    Don't log into Google to do searches! May 26, 2021 at 16:40
  • It’s a personal google account I don’t have a work google account. I must have signed into my google account somehow and noticed it was pretty filling in the google search what I searched on my iPhone. Is there a way they can see this history as it wasn’t searched on the work laptop? Would they have to physically view my desktop?
    – Paul
    May 27, 2021 at 4:12
  • @Paul You should really keep 100% separate work and personal stuff. Never use a personal "thing" for work and never use a work thing for personal use.
    – GACy20
    Jul 22, 2022 at 15:17

2 Answers 2

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No, your work would have no ability to see the contents of your personal Google account. Someone walking by or if the computer has screen monitoring software would see what you saw on the screen.

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As you logged into your personal account on the work computer (controlled by the company), theoretically they could (in a technical way) access the search history that was saved in your Google account¹ or other data stored in your personal account.

However, it is very unlikely they did this. They would need a lot of extra effort to do that, and if they accessed anything, it'd probably not be on purpose. Plus, there's likely a legal conflict between your right to privacy on your personal account and their right to access anything that is in their computer. You probably signed their company policy document stating that you wouldn't use that computer for any personal stuff (thus legitimizing them in case they needed to analyze the computer), but you may still have some rights there. Plus, different jurisdictions may reach different conclusions as well.

¹ Do note there's an option in Google account settings for not storing it.

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  • How can the device admin see the Google account activity history from other devices? And what is this setting? Do you mean the Google account sync? Is that data stored locally? Or is it only accessible? If stored locally, what is this method to access it?
    – schroeder
    Jun 27, 2021 at 7:47
  • If your work's internet goes through it's own sort of VPN (you'll be able to tell because all site's will have the same source of the https certificate), they could grab the "suggested" values that appear when you are typing in your search term. (If those are pulled from Google... it sounds like they are.) Nov 15, 2023 at 18:23
  • @pcalkins I think you mean if they use a proxy server that logs que queries. Just going through a VPN (or being physically on their network), even if everything is tunnel through it and not only the company resources, they could at most get the remote domain (such as google.com), not the queries. It also depends a lot on how is the browser or Google fetching that data.
    – Ángel
    Nov 17, 2023 at 23:50

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