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You Can Now Wipe Your Location and Web History in Google

If you’re still worried about the companies eyeballing your online activity, then you will be relieved to hear that Google plans on rolling out a new feature which allows you to delete, well, everything.

On the agenda since May, Google’s auto-delete option is just what the doctor ordered in terms of privacy protection. When activated, the user can choose how long his or her online activity will be stored. Manual deletion of cookies, location, and web history was also contemplated by Google.

Saying “Bye-bye” to your virtual tracks

“I’m keeping my eyes on you” is not only pure Orwellianism but the painful truth of a life spent behind a computer screen. As The Police so eloquently put its “every move you make, every bond you break, I’ll be watching you” – yes, you are being watched, but it’s not that tragic.

Think about how online marketing works: how else will companies be able to reach out to you with recommendation and discounts and bargains if they don’t know anything about your preferences? Of course, there’s also the dark side – malicious tracking, eavesdropping, account hijacking, and other foul things that go bump in the night.

Well, if you’re convinced that someone is eyeballing you for some nefarious reason, you will now be able to erase your tracks from the sand. According to Father Google, an auto-delete option is on its way.

The feature will be available to all devices. So, what’s up with this feature? Well, once activated, the browser will ask about how long are you willing to share your private info with the rest of the online world.

This includes web history, location, and cookies. By default, the browser will automatically delete your data after three months. However, you can extend it to 18 months. Of course, there’s also the option of ditching the auto-delete feature and do the job manually. Why? Because it’s your choice, that’s why.

The feature also allows the user to retroactively delete data. How does that work you ask? Let’s say you landed on the wrong side of the Internet a couple of months ago and you keep receiving ads that are neither relevant nor PG, so to speak. By using this feature, you can remove this skeleton from your virtual closet in a jiffy. Yes, it’s that easy.

Now, in order to activate your Google account’s autodelete feature, hit “Settings” and click\tap on “Manage your Google Account.”

On the left side of your screen, click\tap on “Data & Personalization.” Under “Activity Controls,” click or tap on “Manage your activity controls.”

Depending on what you want to delete or be deleted ( “Web & App activity”, “Location history”, “Device Information”, “Voice & Audio activity”, “YouTube search history”, or “YouTube watch history”), click or tap the corresponding “manage my activity” link.

To turn on the auto-delete feature, hit the “choose to delete automatically” and select the interval. You can also manually delete the data by scrolling down and clicking or tapping on the trash icon next to the appropriate icon.

Wrap-up

Well, it would appear that Google has become the champion of online privacy. The latest feature shows that neither wind nor rain nor sleet will sway Google from upholding the GDPR. So, what’s your take on Google’s latest feature? Head to the comments section and let me hear your thoughts.

About Daniel Sadler

Old-school PC gamer, poetry buff, cat lover, tech wiz. His writing career began almost two decades ago when he modestly acknowledged that hindsight or, lack thereof, can compromise security. He enjoys spending quality time with his friends and family. Most of his friends refer to Daniel as a "man of a few words, but, man, what words!" His interests include cybersecurity, IT, blogging, and, of course, everything related to technology.

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