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Google Offers New Version Of Personalized Search

The firm is beta-testing a new version of personalized search that learns from people's search histories and the results they've previously clicked on.

Google Inc. on Tuesday launched in beta a new version of personalized search that learns from people's search histories and the results they've clicked on.

The new capabilities have been added to the personalized search service the company launched this year. The service requires users to sign up for a Google account.

By "learning" as people search, the new version is expected to deliver more relevant search results to users as they build a search history. For example, over time the technology could deliver more listings for pop music instead of classical, if a person's history showed he favored that genre.

Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., stores a person's search history on its servers, which enables a person to make use of personalized search from a browser on any computer. People can delete items from their search history, and turn off the personalized-search feature temporarily, if they don't want a web search recorded.

Privacy experts have voiced concern over Google's search-history technology, saying that it could reveal private information about the user. Such information, if stored in a server, could be made available to lawyers or government agencies with a court subpoena.

Personalized search only works with web search results, and does not support Google's other products, such as its image search.

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