While a lot of people still aren’t very much concerned with the amount of information we turn over to companies like Google and Facebook, there is still a growing number of users who are becoming more conscious about it. Google wants to be able to honor that segment of the market by bringing improvements to their data retention practices. Those who will be turning their location history for the first time will get the auto-delete option set to 18 months by default.
The auto-delete controls were first introduced last year, giving users the option to automatically delete their Location History, search, voice, and Youtube activity data every 3 months or 18 months. All Google users have their Location History turned off by default but if you turn it on for the first time, your auto-delete settings will be automatically set to 18 months by default. You can change it to 3 months of course, but if you didn’t know you could, you are automatically set to 18 months.
Those who create new Google accounts will have their web and app activity data auto-delete to 18 months as well by default. Previously, if you didn’t have an auto-delete set, all your data is just there in the Google space until you choose to delete it. Current users who have set their auto-delete options will not be affected but will get regular reminders about these controls so you’re always aware of your options.
Google Account controls will now be more easily accessible through Search so you can easily review and adjust your privacy and security settings. It’s also easier to access Incognito mode when you’re on your mobile device. Just long-press your profile picture in Search, Maps, and YouTube to switch. However, it’s available for iOS only for now but will be coming soon to Android as well. Password Checkup will be incorporated into your Security Checkup tool and so they will sunset the Chrome extension in the next few months.
These changes to Google’s data retention practices are part of the implementation of their three important principles: ” keeping your information safe, treating it responsibly, and putting you in control. “ Of course some will still be skeptical about this but at least we’re seeing changes right?