You can now force Google to automatically delete your data after a set period of time. This should save you from having to delete said data manually as and when you remember. What’s more, the auto-delete feature will be enabled by default for new users.
At the time of writing, Google’s auto-delete controls are available for your Web & App Activity, your Location History, and your YouTube History. All three now have an auto-delete option that can be enabled on the Activity Controls page of your Google account.
Google Will Now Automatically Delete Your Data
Auto-delete controls were first introduced in May 2019. In a post on The Keyword, Google explained that your data helps “make Google products more useful for you”. So to encourage you to keep providing that data, it’s happy to auto-delete it after a set period.
It should be noted that you don’t have to give Google your data in the first place. Just move the sliders to the left on the Activity Controls page to stop Google saving your activity. However, doing so will prevent Google from being able to personalize your experience.
Set it and forget it: Rolling out soon to your Google Account, new auto-delete controls will make it even easier to manage your Location History and activity data ? https://t.co/IkOP6srCjA pic.twitter.com/DIzQ4yJZrA
— Google (@Google) May 1, 2019
This is where the auto-delete option comes in. The feature means you can let Google save your activities across its services (and offer a personalized experience) while knowing that after either 3 months or 18 months (it’s your choice), Google will delete that data.
How to Auto-Delete Your Google Data
To have Google auto-delete your activity data, log into your Google account and visit the Activity Controls page. To find this manually, click on your profile, then click Manage Your Google Account > Data & Personalization > Manage Your Activity Controls.
You should see the Auto-delete option under Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History. So just click on it, and choose to “Auto-delete activity older than 3 months” or “Auto-delete activity older than 18 months”.
Previously, the only option you had was to manually delete your data. Now, with the new auto-delete controls, you can have Google delete your data without you having to lift a finger. And new users will have auto-delete enabled by default.
Be Aware of How Your Data Is Being Used
Everyone should be more aware of how the data they generate while online is being used. These auto-delete controls—which sees Google trying to bridge the gap between personalization and privacy—suggest the company is taking people’s concerns seriously.
Even if you’re not concerned about how companies such as Google are using your data, there’s always a chance that data will escape into the wider world. So, with that in mind, here are some simple ways to protect your data from hackers
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