Google announced the auto-delete tools to become active in the coming weeks. It is intended to be used for location history data, as well as web browsing and app activity. Their users will be availed the choice of automatically deleting search history and location history after three months i.e one can choose for how long one wants data to be saved ranging from 3 months to 18 months. Any data older than the time selected by a user will be automatically deleted from the user’s account continually.
Location and Web browsing history are critical to any internet user. Some people may not highly regard privacy in that capacity as important. Location history can aide tracking of missing persons, or just finding a person/place. Even more, David Monsees, the Product Manager of Search wrote in an online post, “And when you turn on settings like Location History or Web & App Activity, the data can make Google products more useful for you – like recommending a restaurant that you might enjoy, or helping you pick up where you left off on a previous search.” The Location and Web browsing history options are useful, but big names may need this information kept private for one reason or another.
Consumer groups from seven European nations asked their privacy regulators to take action against the global leading search engine, Google In November last year on grounds that the Tech giant was misleading about location tracking.
After an investigation by the Associated Press, it was found that a number of Google services running on Android and Apple devices pinpoint the user location and store it, even when Google’s “Location History” setting is switched off. The seven nations; Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden, all filed GDPR complaints against Google’s location tracking then filed the lawsuit alleging that Google is tracking the movements of millions of users in breach of the European Union’s privacy laws. Google is consequently facing a lawsuit in the United States for allegedly tracking phone users regardless of privacy settings.
Prior to this development, Google already had an option for users to manually delete the data it harvests when they use its products such as YouTube, Maps and Search. Possibly in the event of the lawsuit, developers have gone to the drawing board to now try giving users more control via auto-delete tools.
Monsees also added, “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,”
“You can already use your Google Account to access simple on/off controls for Location History and Web & App Activity, and if you choose – to delete all or part of that data manually,” he wrote. “In addition to these options, we’re announcing auto-delete controls that make it even easier to manage your data.”
“These controls are coming first to Location History and Web App Activity and will roll out in the coming weeks,” Monsees wrote. “You should always be able to manage your data in a way that works best for you–and we’re committed to giving you the best controls to make that happen.”
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