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Google will soon let you auto-delete your location and web history

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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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Image: Google

Image: Google

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.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Sharmishta Sarkar

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (yes, she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing cameras and lenses, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She also contributes to Digital Camera World and T3, and helps produce two of Future's photography print magazines in Australia.