Google to allow automatic deletion of location, web history

Google to allow automatic deletion of location, web history
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Google is rolling out a feature that will allow users to automatically delete some information stored about them as the tech giant grapples with privacy concerns.

The changes, announced Wednesday, will allow users to choose if they want their activity data to be saved for either three or 18 months, after which any old data will automatically be removed from their accounts on an ongoing basis.

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The controls are currently being implemented for users’ location history and web and app activity and will be available in the coming weeks.

“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 said in a blog post. “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.”

Users will keep the option of manually deleting their location history and web and app activity data.

Google uses information stored to recommend restaurants, music and more that users might like and informs them of weather conditions via their location history.

The tech behemoth has been a focus of bipartisan scrutiny over privacy concerns. Lawmakers from both parties most recently grilled Will DeVries, senior policy counsel at Google, over the company’s user location tracking and data practices.

Google has also faced regulatory action abroad, being hit with a $57 million fine in Europe in January over its data practices.