Google to Launch Data Auto-Delete Feature
Google’s new feature will enable users to auto-delete their location, Web and App Activity data tracking after three or 18 months.
Google plans to introduce a privacy tool that will allow users to automatically delete their Location History an Web and App Activity after a set period of time.
Once activated, this feature will continuously delete the data after either three or 18 months. The move comes in response to growing user privacy fears, and the company came under scrutiny over the personal details it gathered from its users.
Google has been accused of precisely tracking and logging users’ locations even when the tracking option was switched off. Earlier this month, the company admitted that human reviewers sometimes listened to voice recordings from its home speaker and assistant app.
Previously, if a user wanted to opt out of being tracked altogether, they would have to forfeit access to useful features such as recent location history. If users wanted that data purged they would have to manually do it themselves.
A Google blog post read: “We work to keep your data private and secure, and we’ve heard your feedback that we need to provide simpler ways for you to manage or delete it. We’re committed to giving you the best controls to make that happen.”
Once launched, users will be prompted to chose a time limit they want Google to retain their activity data for – after that limit expires all their data will be automatically deleted. However, the new feature will not offer automatic deletion of YouTube watch history or voice commands issued via Home and Assistant.
The new offering appears to be a compromise for those not wanting their data stored by Google but who also want to take advantage of location-based tips from the company. The new controls are expected to arrive within the next few weeks and will be accessible through the Location History and Web & Actvity menu in the users’ Google Account.