New Delhi: Search engine giant Google has announced privacy improvements for its activity data which includes changes to data retention practices across Google’s core products.
“As we design our products, we focus on three important principles: keeping your information safe, treating it responsibly, and putting you in control. Today, we are announcing privacy improvements to help do that, including changes to our data retention practices across our core products to keep less data by default,” Google CEO, Sundar Pichai wrote in Google blog.
Here’s how it works
- Google user when first time turns on Location History—which is off by default—the auto-delete option will be set to 18 months by default.
- Web and 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, Google said.
If users already had Location History and Web and App Activity turned on, Google will not be changing the settings. However, the company will actively remind users about the auto-delete controls through in-product notifications and emails, so you can choose the auto-delete setting that works for you, Google said.
Google had last year introduced auto-delete controls, which give you the choice to have Google automatically and continuously delete your Location History, search, voice and YouTube activity data after 3 months or 18 months.
"We continue to challenge ourselves to do more with less, and today we’re changing our data retention practices to make auto-delete the default for our core activity settings," Pichai wrote.
On YouTube, auto-delete will be set to 36 months by default if you create a new account or turn on your YouTube History for the first time, Google said.
Current users can still choose the 3 or 18 months auto-delete option. Default retention periods will not apply to other products like Gmail, Drive and Photos, which are designed to safely store your personal content.
Google will also make it easier to access key Google Account controls from Search.
"Soon, when you’re signed into your Google Account, you’ll be able to search for things like “Google Privacy Checkup” and “Is my Google Account secure?” and a box only visible to you will show your privacy and security settings so you can easily review or adjust them," Pichai wrote.