- Google can now automatically erase web and activity data after a designated period of time.
- You can choose to allow Google to store this data for a period of three or 18 months.
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As part of its broader effort to make privacy settings more transparent, Google recently announced a new feature that makes it possible to set limits for how long the company can save the data it collects about your activity.
Under the new settings, you can choose to have Google automatically delete your web and app activity data after a period of three or 18 months. Before this, you would have to manually delete the data in the Google app’s settings section.
Google collects data like search history and other interactions in Google services to improve and customise its app experience. It might also save your Chrome history and activity from other websites and apps that use Google’s services if you have that feature enabled.
But not everyone may be comfortable with Google keeping a record of their activity. And more importantly, not everyone who’s bothered by the concept of Google storing their data may remember to take the time to delete it.
Here’s how to make sure Google deletes your web and app activity after a set period of time, whether you’re using iPhone, Android, or a web browser.
Navigate to myaccount.google.com. Or, if you’re logged into Google, click your profile photo in the top right corner of the Google homepage.
Choose the “Data & personalisation” option on the lefthand column.
Click “Web & App Activity,” and then choose “Manage Activity.”
Press the “Choose to delete automatically” button.
Select either “Keep for 18 months” or “Keep for 3 months” depending on your preference. Activity data will be deleted after that time period.
To do this on your Android phone, start by launching the Settings app and choosing “Google.”
Then tap the “Google Account” option.
Select “Data & personalisation.”
Choose “Web & App Activity.”
Select “Manage activity.”
Select “Choose to delete automatically” and pick a time limit of three months or 18 months.
If you’re an iPhone user, launch the Gmail app and tap “Settings” option in the main menu. This menu can be accessed by tapping the symbol that looks like three horizontal lines stacked on top of one another in the top left corner.
Tap your email address at the top of the screen.
Select “Manage your Google account.”
Select “Data & personalisation” and follow the same steps described in slides nine through 11.
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