For New Accounts, Google Will Now Automatically Delete The Search And Location History After 18 Months By Default

Today, Google has announced a range of privacy and security improvements for users, including new updates to the data retention practices of the company. The search giant announced that its default settings are now being changed to auto-delete some of the users’ data.

Now, your search history and location will be automatically deleted after 18 months. For YouTube, the company announced that it will delete histories including the videos you watched and for how long you watched a particular clip, after 36 months.

The company will apply new updates to new users or those who turn on Location History for the first time. However, old users will soon be displayed prompts to adjust their settings for the new changes. Google decided to not apply the new changes to existing users as some people may not want their ‘curated’ data to be erased without their permission.

In May of the year 2019, Google launched new auto-delete controls to allow people to force the regular erasure of logs collected about users by Google. However, the feature was an opt-in option.

The company collects this data to improve the user experience and target ads. According to David Monsees, product manager at Google, this information surely makes Google’s products useful, but the company will no longer keep activity data unless a user asks Google to keep the records.

However, the default retention settings will not apply to Google Drive, Photos, and Gmail, as the company does not use this data to target ads. Moreover, some users may want to keep their personal info for longer than 18 months on Google Drive, Photos, and Gmail.

The company has also introduced some other measures such as Google Search will now display a box displaying the settings and providing a new way to adjust the settings if a user uses Search to ask if their account is secure or not. The company will also shortly introduce other related ‘dynamic cards.’

If you have shared your location with your friend, Google will later remind you that the permission is still active, and now it is easier to access the ‘Incognito Mode’ in Google applications.



Photo: AFP via Getty Images

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