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Google's allowing users to automatically delete location and activity data

A new feature from Google now allows your location and other data to be auto-deleted every 3 or 18 months. While Google has always allowed you to disable the tracking of your location and searches or erase your location history, there are often many benefits to Google having this data.

By keeping track of your location and search habits, Google is able to make suggestions about a restaurant you might enjoy or suggest when you should leave for work. It is only able to do this because of the information you have allowed it to gather.

However, in an ever more privacy-minded society, Google's gradually realizing that there is a balance to be had between saving everything or nothing. With this new feature, you'll get the benefits of personalized suggestions but without Google having years of your data on file. The new auto-delete feature is not currently available, but it will be rolling out first for Location History and Web & App Activity within the coming weeks.

It is great to see Google offering new ways for its users to manage the data it collects on us, especially after the recent report of how police are using Google Maps Timeline to collect information for cases.

In the meantime, if you want to manually delete your search activity, you can access it by going into the Google app on your phone, tapping more, choosing search activity, tapping on the hamburger button in the top left corner, choosing delete activity by, and then selecting by product or by date. You can also follow these instructions to delete your Google Maps history.

How to view your location history in Google Maps

1 Comment
  • Did they say how long your data remains on their servers after you delete it? With photos, it stays there 21 days after you empty the trash, which is why I had to stop a girl from taking a photo of herself with my phone last month.