New Google default settings delete users’ location, web history after 18 months

Last Wednesday Alphabet Incโ€™s Google announced that some location history of new users will be automatically cancelled after 18 months, and it will be easier for everyone to access search, Maps and YouTube apps without being tracked.

A graphic displaying the structure of Alphabet Inc. (by Alvandria, licensed under the Creative Commonsย Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license)

Googleโ€™s privacy control update is released while the worldโ€™s largest search engine encounters an intensified vigilance on its data collection practices.

Novel privacy regulatory framework in California and Europe have pushed internet companies to review their practices in the last two years.

Google has been accused of deception in data gathering by several lawsuits by consumers and U.S. state attorneys general in the last few months.

With Googleโ€™s updated privacy controls for new users: YouTubeโ€™s viewing history will be deleted after 36 months, while location tracking and web browsing history will be erased after 18 months.

Naturally users have the option to select a shorter or longer window of time. However, Google will remain able to find data about access and to store location in other ways.

It is now easier for users to search in Google’s “incognito mode” (the setting that disables the log of usersโ€™ activity on Google): it can be done holding down their profile picture at the top of the search, Maps or YouTube apps.

Before it was necessary to additionally click in the appsโ€™ menu. The company big source of its revenue comes from ads, which are improved by data about users’ preferences on what they are watching and reading and their location.

Alphabet Chief Executive, Sundar Pichai, last year has stated that the data collected are more than necessary for ads, committing to minimize its collection.

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