On Thursday, May 2, Google announced that they will be adding a new feature to the website that allows users to set their location history and web activity for auto-deletion. While the option to delete the web history and either delete or turn off the location has always been available, it needed to be done manually. Google is now giving the option to give a set time to delete the private items: every 3 months, 18 months, or until a user deletes them. The Google team stated that this feature will be available “later in the week.”
Google wrote a blog post concerning the new options saying,
“We work to keep your data private and secure, and we’ve heard your feedback that we need to provide simpler ways for you to manage or delete it.”
Google users previously complained about what they felt to be a lack of online privacy. The concerns quickly skyrocketed, especially after a recent string of privacy attacks on the web. After reviewing the information, the Google team decided to take action and implement a more safety cautious option for users. No other known data will have an auto-delete option.
While the option to delete the history and activity may be what is desired for the users, the Google team has stated that doing this does not benefit them. The team stated that the storage of that private information actually allows better use for the server for things such as knowing which ads to place in front of a user. However, they still determined that they would put their user’s request above their wishes. They stated,
“You should always be able to manage your data in a way that works best for you — and we’re committed to giving you the best controls to make that happen.”
In addition to users being worried about their privacy on the Google server, they have become worried about the same issue on Facebook as well.
Just like with Google, the option to delete search history has always been available. However, last year, Facebook created a feature that they called “Clear History.” This option would allow for users to manually delete their cookies and history. Though Facebook claimed to have this feature, they never made it available for users, making people skeptical about the integrity of the Facebook team.
In a recent press conference, Facebook executive Guy Rosen stated that the option will be available this upcoming Fall.
Written by Trinity Oglesby
CNN: Google adds way to auto-delete your location history, web activity
The Washington Post: Google will soon allow users to auto-delete location history and search data