Internet users can now set limits to what Google can store
Google is giving users back some control over their data. The internet giant is introducing a new feature in account settings that will allow users to delete location, web, and app activity data automatically.
The tools will become available in the coming weeks.
Now, instead of requiring users to delete the data manually, Google is adding auto-delete controls. ‘‘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,’’ the firm explained in a blog post.
‘‘…We’re announcing auto-delete controls that make it even easier to manage your data.’’ Now, users can select a time limit for how long the company can hold onto their data.
Users select the option in settings that says ‘Choose to delete automatically.’ From there, they can choose between letting Google preserve their data for three months or 18 months.
‘‘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’’, the firm added.
The company said the feature is rolling out for location history and web and app activity to start, which suggests it could launch for more kinds of data in the future.
The move follows an explosive report last year from the Associated Press, which found that several apps and websites store user location even if users turned off Location History.
Following an investigation, the AP found that even with Location History turned off, the company stores user location when, for instance, the Google Maps app is opened, or when users conduct Google searches that aren’t related to location.
Researchers found Google logs a record of your current location each time you open its turn-by-turn navigation app, Google Maps.