Google has started auto-deleting the search data and location history of new users on a rolling 18-month basis, CEO Sundar Pichai revealed, as the technology giant continues to improve privacy settings.
The tweak was launched on Wednesday and is a major online company’s latest attempt to boost public trust after heavy fines have been levied on Facebook and Google in recent years for violations of privacy.
Sundar Pichai said in a blog post that,
“We believe that products should keep your information for only as long as it’s useful and helpful to you.”
He furthered added that the designed changes will “keep less data by default.”
Pichai explained that while creating a new Google account,
“your activity data will be automatically and continuously deleted after 18 months, rather than kept until you choose to delete it.”
New users can also opt in to auto-delete their data every three or 18 months — a provision that has not changed, although it does remind new users of the choice to do so.
Despite concerns about privacy and civil liberties, smartphone location technology has been in the spotlight as governments study or implement app-based initiatives to prevent coronavirus spread.
“Privacy is at the heart of everything we do,” Pichai asserted in his blog post.
He also told about other changes including easier access to privacy settings within apps and to the more secure “incognito” mode.
Current users of Google’s YouTube affiliate will also auto-delete their search data after 36 months, Pinchai told.