The answer would depend on several factors but eventually lands to a yes. Police can see what you search on the internet plus quite many other things if you’re generally not careful. Of course, it would be illegal for them to do that but the means that get used in such a field are not the type that are easy to prove. There are several ways they do this and luckily, prevention methods exist as well. An acquaintance in this field is small so it gets easy for the government or anyone willing to put enough time into learning about you to pull off exploitation that may have grave consequences.
The first way that requires almost no technical skill that the police may try to use and get information from a victim is using social media. Even though companies reassure the safety of their services the fact is that they’re not safe and key information concerning your interests is kept in your social media. Interests are what majorly build a person, and displaying them openly on these services makes it a little easier for someone that is trying to learn about you.
An example would be social media that is built on the principle of following. Information about the accounts that a single account follows in that service is often free for anyone who visits the account page to see. Even though it may not be known, half of the accounts followed on these services were searched for because they captured the user’s attention. What this means is that anyone who visits the account page and chooses to look at the accounts that the user follows automatically knows what they search. The list also will most likely contain your interests and interests is what bait is all about. If the list of accounts has five or more jewelry stores it automatically shows that the victim is interested in jewelry. This is much information that could be used in quite a number of malicious ways that you unknowingly put up on the internet.
Another way your search information could get ripped off you by police is through special software and hardware that are commercially available. It is mainly done through keylogging and newer creative ways of doing it are being invented every day. Quite a number of methods are used one of them being interception of networks that are weakly protected and using bait that was talked about above to install malicious software that records keys typed in a computer. These logs are then sent through various email or messaging services periodically. This can be wilfully avoided by installing antivirus software that’s watching out for logs and dangerous software like that.
But for some reason, statistics still point towards lesser people having installed an antivirus on their machines which even simplifies data theft like seeing what you search on the internet. Special hardware could also be used for logging data that is typed in but this angle of attack is less used because it requires physical access to the computer. This still does not mean it cannot be done. It is always a good routine to check computer ports for modifications of any type. Devices that log keys typed vary from Flash drives to tiny devices act as connectors joining peripherals to the system unit designed to steal the data being typed. Most of these companies are secure on their end and encrypt everything.
When people like the police are trying to get info concerning you, rarely will they opt to start by going to the internet services. This would go against the end-user agreement and as a result, the company will most likely not release any data. They can’t even get the data from the back-end cause that’s how secure the systems are designed to be. The most advanced methods of encryptions make it extremely hard if not impossible to obtain data from anywhere that is not the user’s end. Most of the systems are designed using AI which naturally transforms over time making it hard to know what the system is like given some time. The only loose end is a careless internet user and working from there almost always yields positive results. So whether the police can or can’t see what you search on the internet relies on how careful you are when using the internet.