Google: Improved privacy features – automatic deletion of activity data is now standard

Google would like to devote more attention to the topic of privacy protection and provides users with new setting options and functions for activity data. Among other things, since last year there has been a new option for automatically deleting location histories and activity data: Since then, users have the choice of deleting all data regarding location history and web and app activities as well as language activities every 3 or 18 months.

The feature, which was only given to "knowledgeable users" last year, is now to be activated by default. The location history, which is already deactivated by default, has an automatic expiry date after 18 months after the first activation. The same applies to web and app activities. The periods themselves or the automatic deletion can still be deactivated.

An option for automatic deletion after a certain period of time would also like to be integrated into other Google products in the future: Those who activate YouTube history for the first time will be automatically deleted after 36 months by default. This ensures to provide video recommendations and notifications based on recently viewed content.

The setting of relevant settings should also be made easier in the future. In the future, the Google account settings can also be reached via Google Search:

For example, searches for "Google Account", "Google Privacy Check" or "Is my Google Account secure?" Should lead to the desired privacy and security settings. The function is not yet available in Germany, but will follow, according to Google. Proactive recommendations will also be added to the privacy check in the future.

Incognito mode should now also be easier to access. For numerous mobile apps, this has already been packed into the account settings, which you can access via the profile picture. In the future, it will be sufficient to press the profile picture in Google Maps or YouTube for a long time to start Incognito mode. The feature is already available for the Google app under iOS (!), Android and other Google apps are to follow.

Google also wants to protect stored data, passwords have top priority here. The password check function is integrated directly into the Google account and the Chrome browser. The Chrome extension with the same functionality is therefore superfluous and will be switched off in the coming months.

Important and in a nutshell: From today on, for everyone who activates the location history – which is deactivated by default – for the first time, the default setting for the automatic deletion of the location history is set to 18 months. There is also an 18-month time window for deleting web and app activities, which is activated as standard for new users. Likewise, one introduces the option on YouTube, where the time window for the automatic deletion of the data is set to 36 months when you register there again or activate the YouTube history for the first time. You can find the announcement from Google here.

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