Google has announced that it will set controls for auto-deleting location or search history after 18 months by default. Earlier, users had to turn this setting on if they didn’t want Google to store their data for an indefinite amount of time.
The move allows Google to still hold on to information and recommend things you might like based on your previous location or browsing history, but it won’t have years and years worth of private data.
Information released by Google‘s CEO Sunder Pichai says, “we believe that products should keep your information for only as long as it’s useful and helpful to you—whether that’s being able to find your favorite destinations in Maps or getting recommendations for what to watch on YouTube”.
Last year Google introduced auto-delete controls, which gives the choice to have Google automatically and continuously delete Location History, search, voice, and YouTube activity data after 3 months or 18 months.
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 Location History and Web and App Activity is turned on, Google won’t be changing settings. But will actively remind users about the auto-delete controls through in-product notifications and emails, to choose the auto-delete setting.