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Newly created Google accounts to have stronger location and web history auto-delete defaults

By Ng Chong Seng - on 25 Jun 2020, 8:12am

Newly created Google accounts to have stronger location and web history auto-delete defaults

(Image: Google.)

Google has announced that it’s making some changes to its data retention policies to keep less of your data by default.

For one, when you first enable Location History, the default now is to auto-delete the logs after 18 months. For new accounts, Web & App Activity will also be set to store your activity data for 18 months by default and continuously clear them when the time is up. Note that all these changes are for new users; if you’ve already set up these controls, Google won’t touch them.

For YouTube History, the default retention period is now 36 months if it’s a new account or if you’re enabling the control for the first time. Again, YouTube won’t touch your existing setting if you’ve already set it up and the 3 and 18 months auto-delete options are still available.

Along with these new auto-delete defaults, Google is also making some tweaks to its privacy tools.

For example, Google Account controls are going to be searchable soon. The next time you search for ‘Google Privacy Checkup’ and ‘Is my Google Account secure?’, a box will appear to show you your privacy and security settings.

Also, you can enter Incognito mode when you long-press on your avatar in Search, Maps and YouTube. This is rolling out today starting with the Google App for iOS, and soon to the Android version and other apps.

Google is also trying to make Incognito mode persist across Google apps such as Maps and YouTube, but this feature isn’t ready yet.

Finally, now that the Password Checkup tool is part of the Security Checkup dashboard in your Google account, Google is shutting down the Password Checkup extension for Chrome in the coming months.

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai reiterates:

As always, we don’t sell your information to anyone, and we don’t use information in apps where you primarily store personal content—such as Gmail, Drive, Calendar and Photos—for advertising purposes, period.

Source: Google.