It shouldn’t be a surprise that Google has many services that collect user data. While this is done to provide you with a more personalised service, it is also a privacy concern. Recognising this, the internet search giant has announced that it’s making changes to its data collection policies.
In a blog post, CEO Sundar Pichai announced that Google will now have its data-collecting services store them for 18 months by default. That said, there are some major caveats to this. To start, this will only apply when you first turn on the tracking feature. This in turn means that it will mostly only apply to new accounts. Because for existing accounts, you’ve likely turned on Location History and Web & App Activity tracking on at some distant point in time.
The post also says that if you have those two settings turned on, their current auto-delete settings will be left as is. But since the previous default was to never delete your data, chances are that’s what it still is. Unless, of course, you’ve already changed them before.
Google first allowed you to control the duration of the data retention last year. If you want your data cleared periodically, you had the choice of either three or 18 months, something that still remains unchanged. Now is also a good time to decide if you want the company to keep your data for three or 18 months, or not at all, by visiting your Google account’s activity page.