[Update: Rolling Out] Google now lets you automatically delete your location history and activity data every 3 or 18 months
Google often keeps track of everything you search and wherever you go – so long as you have your smartphone’s GPS location turned on. This happens irrespective of whether you’re using Google Maps or not. Google often surprises you to leave a review for a place you visit and while those rewards in exchange for being a “Local guide” might be gratifying enough to drown any suspicion, the internet behemoth keeps a record of all your location and searches histories to make its “products more useful for you” and this might seem like a violation of privacy to certain users. While there are options to completely restrict the logging of your location and search history, or delete the data manually, Google is now introducing a new control which will automatically delete this data periodically.
In a blog post, Google recently announced that it will allow users to choose the period until which their search, location, and web activities will be logged before they are deleted automatically. For now, you can either choose three months or 18 months after which your activity will be deleted automatically. The feature can be turned on by heading over to More>Search activity inside the Google app. Here, under Web & App Activity, you’ll find a button reading “Choose to delete automatically”, which will take you further options. Here’s a preview of how the feature will work.
This activity is permanently deleted and should no longer be linked to your account. This should pacify those who feel anxious or threatened by the large amounts of data collected by Google (and other internet giants) about the preferences of users. The feature is not available yet but Google says it that it will roll out in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, you can currently manage your activity history manually delete items either by topic or by choosing one of the many time slots available. Just head over to the “Delete activity by” option in the hamburger menu inside the My Activity page on Google app.
Update: Rolling Out
Google announced on Twitter that the auto-delete controls for location history and activity data are rolling out today on Android and iOS.
— Google (@Google) June 26, 2019