Google said that it will now automatically delete user search information 18 months after it was captured. This information may include user search entry, voice commands, and user location data. However, the tech giant said that the new policy would not take effect immediately and will roll it out slowly.
In a statement, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said:
“As we design our products, we focus on three important principles: keeping your information safe, treating it responsibly, and putting you in control.”
The auto-delete feature was quietly rolled out last year without much fanfare. For existing account holders, they have to manually turn it on in the Activity Controls panel. New users have this feature automatically turned on.
The tech giant’s latest updates regarding its data retention policy is a step towards improving user privacy and data security. The company has been quite busy over the past few months working towards this very goal.
With the recent rise of video conferencing platforms, Google is making sure its own platform is safe. The company has made huge improvements to protect users from coronavirus-related scams. It is also working on improving user security with regards to using facial recognition technology.
The company said that it would only retain certain data as long as it is useful and helpful to the user. This may have data regarding a favorite destination on Maps or preferred videos on YouTube.
Many criticized Google over the policies of its Chrome Incognito Mode. The criticisms surface after a security analyst found out that Chrome still gathers data even in Incognito. This might have prompted the company to make some new improvements into its flagship browser.
With the latest update, it is now easier to access Incognito Mode into some of Google’s most popular apps. These apps include Search, YouTube, and Maps. There are also several updates coming into these services soon.
The call for stronger privacy is one of the most vital causes in the tech community recently. With rising unrest in the United States, activists are asking for more privacy and defense against agents of the government.
It appears that Google is hearing the plight of its users. New privacy upgrades are in the works, the company promises.
Image courtesy of achinthamb/Shutterstock
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