Yesterday, Google announced several changes to how they handle your personal data related to your Google accounts. The company revealed several tweaks ranging from easier access to incognito mode to integrating Password Checkup in its Security Checkup tool.
However, one of the most important changes is that Google will auto-delete your location history and web & app activity 18-months later — after you first turn them on. Now, web & app activity is turned on by default as soon as you make a Google account. However, location history is turned off by default, and you would need to turn it on explicitly by going into your account settings.
Google’s auto-delete function is not new. The company rolled out this feature last year to manage your activity with options to auto-delete your history after three or 18 months. If you haven’t turned on auto-delete, it takes a couple of steps to do it:
- Head to your Google account’s activity page on desktop or mobile.
- Go to the auto-delete section under Web & App Activity, Location History, or YouTube History.
- Select the auto-delete duration.
The company has come under fire for its location data collecting practices in past few months. In February, The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) ordered a probe into Google’s processing and transparency framework related to location data. Last month, Arizona sued the search giant over tracking users even after they turned off location services. This auto-delete by default functionality might earn the company some brownie points.
You can read about all of Google’s new privacy-related announcements here.