Google adds auto-delete feature for data and location history

Responding to community feedback, Google is giving its users a simpler way to control their privacy on its platforms.

Location history and web activity both help Google to provide the user with personalized ads and recommendations and to access their commonly visited sites more easily.

But increasingly, users are becoming skeptical of the privacy practices of tech giants like Google and Facebook, which have both had their CEOs dragged into court hearings over the past year.

These concerns are understandable, as Google’s Chrome and Gmail are the world’s most popular search engine and E-Mail service respectively – meaning they store a lot of data on a lot of people.

Naturally, the thought of a giant, international corporation having tabs on all your interests from television to politics can be a cause of anxiety.

While browsers which offer full privacy and anonymity like DuckDuckGo and Search Encrypt have seen huge surges in popularity, it is possible that Google could see a return of many users if they continue to implement good privacy practices into their services.

While users have always been able to switch off and, for the most part, delete their location history and web and app activity manually, the auto-delete feature will make this a lot easier.

Choose a time limit for how long you want your activity data to be saved—3 or 18 months—and any data older than that will be automatically deleted from your account on an ongoing basis. These controls are coming first to Location History and Web & App Activity and will roll out in the coming weeks.

You’ll notice Google states that auto-delete is “coming first” to data and location history, implying that we will in future see this feature applied to other forms of data Google stores.

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