In yet another bid to address privacy concerns, Google is rolling out a key feature that will allow people to automatically delete their Location History, Web and App Activity data. Google last year courted controversy when an Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store users’ location data even if the users explicitly used privacy settings to turn it off. In a blog post late Thursday, Google said it is introducing auto-delete controls for users’ Location History and Web and App Activity data.
“Choose a time limit for how long you want your activity data to be saved a” three or 18 months a” and any data older than that will be automatically deleted from your account on an ongoing basis,” announced David Monsees, Product Manager, Google Search.
These controls are coming first to Location History, Web and App Activity and will roll out in the coming weeks. “You should always be able to manage your data in a way that works best for you,” added Marlo McGriff, Product Manager, Google Maps.
The company argued that when users turn on settings like Location History or Web and App Activity, the data can make Google products more useful for them a” like recommending a restaurant or helping pick up where they left off on a previous search.
“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,” said Google.
You can already use your Google Account to access simple on/off controls for Location History and Web and App Activity, and if you choose — to delete all or part of that data manually. According to the tech giant, Location History is a Google product that is entirely opt in, and users have the controls to edit, delete or turn it off at any time.