Like Facebook, Google has been hounded by privacy advocates to improve its data collection policies, and has received particular criticism for indefinitely holding on to users’ geo-location information on its servers.
In response, Google has been progressively making changes to its otherwise nebulous data collection protocols, giving users more power over the private information the company stores.
The Alphabet-owned tech giant has added to its efforts by announcing that, going forward, users will have the option of having their online history automatically deleted after a certain period of time.
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The auto-delete option, according to Google, will allow users to choose an expiration time of either three months or 18 months for the data collected by the search giant, including past searches, online activity on Google-owned sites, Android app installation and usage, and information collected via the Location History feature on Google Search and Google Maps.
The controls will be available in the account settings pane under the Web & App Activity and Location History sections.
Google’s announcement says that the auto-delete feature will be rolled out in the next few weeks and is “coming first” to the web- and location-history sections, implying we may see it applied to other Google services in the future as well.