Google to “auto-delete” users’ web browsing history

As the tech giants adapt to more stringent cultures and laws surrounding user privacy, Google is to give its users the ability to have their search and location histories deleted automatically after three months.

The search engine already has measures in place to enable individuals using the service to erase the information Google picks up as users engage with platforms such as Search, Maps and YouTube.

To grant further control to users over how personal data is handled, Google has decided to allow an auto-delete function to kick in after three or 18 months, getting rid of users’ browsing and geo-location data without users having to take any direct action.

The new facility should go live in the “coming weeks,” Google has said.

The moves to further accommodate evolving data handling standards comes after many months of scrutiny regarding how the tech giants gather and process personal data. In November of last year, Google came under fire for tracking users wherever they went, even when location histories had been deactivated.

In April 2019, consumers around the world were shocked to learn that Google admitted that human reviewers listened to commands spoken into Google’s assistance app.

At the moment, the web history and location tracking features available to Google users can be “paused”, if users go into the settings page and check the appropriate boxes linked to relevant accounts.

In time, new options will exist, enabling users to have data automatically deleted after a chosen time period. However YouTube histories, and voice commands issued through Home and Assistant, are not set to be included in the developments.


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