Google recently announced that it will be auto-delete user’s data including search activity and location history within 18 months. There was, however, a catch to this, the default delete will only work for new users. Existing users can manually set the time for auto-deletion. Google will not be change any of settings for users who have already activated any auto-delete options. For the first-time YouTube users, those who have created a new account or turned on their history for the first time, the auto-delete option will be set at 36 months by default.
If users want to monitor and manually change the activity Google has access to, following are the simple steps:
- Users should be sign into their Google account and click on their profile icon.
- Tap to ‘Manage your Google Account’ and go to ‘Data and Personalisation’.
- Next scroll to ‘Activity controls’ and tap on ‘Web and App Activity’. This is where users can customise settings as per their preference.
Web and App Activity comprises four sub-options :
- In case, users want to completely hide their trace of activity like search history from Google and YouTube, voice and audio recording, google assistant commands, then they should turn the toggle off.
- Users can alternatively check the boxes depending on Chrome history and activity from sites, apps, and devices that use for Google services.
- There is also an option to set the auto-delete feature. Users can choose to auto-delete their activity older than 3 months, or 18 months. Once users have chosen their auto-delete option, they can click on Next or Confirm. End users can also be choose an option of ‘Don’t auto-delete’.
- The next option is Manage Activity which on being clicked will show users all the data history from the time they created their account unless they decluttered it previously.
- The items will be arranged by date so users can click on the three stacked dots manually and then go to Delete or Details depending on their preference.
- If users want the activity to be deleted automatically, they should go to the three stacked dots on the top right-hand side and choose the options between the last hour, last day, or all time. Users can opt for a specific time whose data they want to be deleted, they can do so by going to the custom range.