Google announce new measures to improve user privacy, including history auto-delete

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Today Google has announced new privacy measures aimed to reassure users that Google is treating their data responsibly.

The first is new auto-delete controls, which will automatically and continuously delete your Location History, search, voice and YouTube activity data after 3 months or 18 months.

New users or new accounts who use Location History, which is off by default, will have their data automatically deleted after 18 months. If users prefer they can switch it to 3 months, or opt-out of auto-delete of course.

Existing users of Location History and Web & App Activity won’t have their settings changed but will be reminded regularly of the option to switch auto-delete on.


Similarly, for YouTube, new accounts will have their viewing history data deleted automatically after 36 months, or users will be able to set it to 3 or 18 months.

Google says default retention periods will not apply to other products like Gmail, Drive and Photos, which are designed to store your personal content.

Google is also making privacy controls more accessible. When you’re signed in to your Google Account, you’ll be able to search for things like “Google Privacy Checkup” and “Is my Google Account secure?” and a box only visible to you will show your privacy and security settings so you can easily review or adjust them.


Google is also making it easier to access Incognito mode in many popular apps, by long-pressing on your profile picture in Search, Maps and YouTube. The feature is available today on the Google App for iOS, and coming soon to Android and other apps. Google is also working to make it possible to stay in Incognito mode across Google apps, like Maps and YouTube, and say they will have more to share soon.


Google is also adding more proactive recommendations in Privacy Checkup, including guided tips to help you manage your privacy settings.

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Password Check-up is now also built into Chrome, which will inform you when your password has been leaked.

Google says they are in general also advocating for a more comprehensive legal privacy framework in USA similar to the European GDPR.

Read more details about their efforts at Google here.

More about the topics: google, Privacy

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