Google to delete search and location history of new accounts after 1.5 years

Posted on Thursday, June 25 2020 @ 9:11 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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In a new blog post, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai explains the new privacy effort of Google. For new accounts, the search giant will start deleting search and location history after 1.5 years. Nothing changes for existing accounts. Current account holders can use manual or auto-delete features over here, these options were launched in 2019.
Here’s how it works: Starting today, the first time you turn on Location History—which is off by default—your auto-delete option will be set to 18 months by default. Web & App Activity auto-delete will also default to 18 months for new accounts. This means your activity data will be automatically and continuously deleted after 18 months, rather than kept until you choose to delete it. You can always turn these settings off or change your auto-delete option.

If you’ve already had Location History and Web & App Activity turned on, we won’t be changing your settings. But we will actively remind you about the auto-delete controls through in-product notifications and emails, so you can choose the auto-delete setting that works for you.
For YouTube, the new policy will be to keep viewing history for 3 years. As always, it's a tricky balance between privacy and convenience. A lot of folks don't like that Google has access to huge amounts of data about us, but it can't be denied that this can sometimes be quite convenient.

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