Users can now choose to have their data deleted after a three-month or 18-month period, the company said Wednesday in a blog post.
But the new feature lets them remove such information automatically, on a regular schedule, offering a middle ground between Google permanently holding the data and users having to delete it themselves.
The new feature can save you from the pain of heading over to Google settings and deleting location data from time to time.
From the account menu, users can click through a prompt to decide how long Google can keep their search and activity data.
Any data that is older than this timeframe, gets deleted automatically, and gets deleted on an ongoing basis. Currently, only 3 months and 18 months are available so there's not much choice in the range. It shut down the Google Plus social network past year after finding a glitch that exposed the personal information of half a million users. You can go to your Google Account to access easily on/off controls for location history, web and app activity. The settings will be available under My Activity.
The feature can prove to be quite useful, as Google will only give recommendations based on the most recent activity of users and their preferences. But, as you know already, these are coming at a cost - privacy. This can be regarded as a step in the right direction as it shows Google's determination to ensure maximum user privacy. It suggests that the company might roll out this option for more of the user data.
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Leaving "Web & App Activity" on and turning "Location History" off only prevents Google from adding your movements to the 'timeline, ' its visualization of your daily travels. There are also controls to delete all or part of that data manually.
Google said that the feature is rolling out during the coming weeks.