Big tech companies have become incredibly efficient and effective at collecting data from us. Over the last few years regulators have been playing catch up and establishing laws and rules to protect us and that’s forced those tech businesses to provide new tools so we have a better understanding of what data is being stockpiled and some control over that collection. Google is adding some new options that will automatically erase, at set intervals, the data it collects from you.
The new tools are being rolled out to all Google accounts and will start with Location History and activity data such as what you’ve searched for, videos you’ve watched on YouTube and other other Google-related activity.
Initially, there will just be two auto-deletion options. You can choose whether to delete your history with either three or 18 month rolling windows.
You can already delete your Google activity but it’s a manual process so you’ll need to remember to do that regularly if you’re concerned with how much data is being held about your online habits.
You can also stop Google from collecting that data in the first place.
Go to your Google account and open the Data & personalization section. Choose which activities you’re happy for Google to retain data on and which you’d like to stop data collection.