Google has announced some privacy updates by changing default settings to automatically delete data that includes search and location histories.
In a blog post on June 24, CEO of Google and its parent company, Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, said in developing their products they focus on three important principles: Keeping information safe, treating it responsibly, and putting users in control.
“As we design our products, we focus on three important principles: keeping your information safe, treating it responsibly, and putting you in control. Today, we are announcing privacy improvements to help do that, including changes to our data retention practices across our core products to keep less data by default,” Pichai said in the blog post.
You can find what data Google collects through My Google Activity. Google kept that data for an unspecified time, until last year, when they announced you can manually delete them. Now with the latest announcement, Google will automatically delete data after 18 months. New accounts will have this on by default. Google won’t change anything from older accounts.
Location history is disabled by default. And the first time you enable it will also enable the auto-deletion feature. Google is planning to bring this to YouTube as well, but the auto-deletion default will be set on 36 months. According to Pichai, this will allow YouTube to continue to recommend videos to users.
In the future, Google is getting ready to roll out other features such as Privacy Checkup and “Is My Google Account Secure?”
Google has made easier access to Incognito Mode for mobile as well, by long-pressing you profile icon. Pichai said this will soon roll out on other Google Apps and YouTube.
Sichai reminds users of Password Checkup. It’s a tool that informs you if your username and password have been compromised from another website’s data breach.