Google just rolled out 3 new security features that let you limit what personal activity it tracks in apps like YouTube and Maps

Getty/ Future Publishing / Contributor

Google is rolling out a cluster of new features that aim to make it easier for customers to control what data they share with the company when using apps like Maps, YouTube, and Google Assistant.

Users will now be able to turn on “incognito mode” in Google Maps to stop the app from saving your location activity and can more easily instruct YouTube and the assistant to delete your history. These tools build on a feature rolled out in May that allowed users to more easily manage and delete data.

The new features are part of a broader attempt to make privacy controls the same across Google’s products and therefore easier to use, Eric Miraglia, director of product management for Google’s privacy and data protection office, wrote in a blog post announcing the features.

“Managing your data should be just as easy as making a restaurant reservation, or using Maps to find the fastest way back home,” Miraglia wrote.

The security tools will roll out for Android this month and iOS “coming soon,” according to the blog post.

Here’s a breakdown of the new features and how they work.


Google Maps now features incognito mode

Google

The tool that allows users to browse Chrome without leaving a history log is now available in Google Maps.

If users enable incognito mode in Maps, Google will stop saving the places they search for and visit. The feature can be turned on or off at any time using the settings dropdown menu in the app.

Accordingly, when incognito mode is on, Google Maps will not use users’ searches to personalise future restaurant recommendations.


Google Assistant now supports voice controls for privacy settings

Google

With this feature, users can instruct Google Assistant to delete history using commands like “Hey Google, delete the last thing I said to you.”

Once the new voice commands are rolled out, which will happen in the coming month, users won’t have to change their settings to enable them – simply speaking the commands to the assistant will work.

Users will also be able to ask the assistant questions like, “How do you keep my data safe?” to get information about Google’s data privacy practices, according to Miraglia.


YouTube now has an auto-delete tool

Google

Auto-delete, a tool that was already available on some Google apps, will soon come to YouTube. The feature allows users to automatically delete their YouTube history beyond a certain time frame.

This new feature builds on pre-existing auto-delete tools for location history and app activity.


A new Password Checkup feature will keep tabs on whether your passwords are secure

Google

Google’s password manager already offers a service that tracks passwords across different accounts. Now, a Password Checkup tool will offer users advice on whether passwords are weak or have been reused across too many platforms.

In addition, Password Checkup will alert users if Google detects that their passwords have been compromised across any sites, prompting users to change them.

Full details of how Password Checkup works are listed here.

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