Taking a stand on user privacy, Alphabet Inc’s-owned Google has announced that users can now delete their location history and their web-browsing data. In a blog post, the Mountain View, California-based company said in a blog post on May 1 that “we’re announcing auto-delete controls that make it even easier to manage your data”
Privacy has always been a major issue and companies such as Facebook, Google among others have been regularly criticised for not doing enough to safeguard the user’s privacy.
In a bid to give the user more control over their data, Google is bringing new features that will let the user decide how much of old data they want to keep. Ranging from 3 months to 18 months, a user can select in what frequency he/she wants to delete their own data.
“Choose a time limit for how long you want your activity data to be saved—3 or 18 months—and any data older than that will be automatically deleted from your account on an ongoing basis. These controls are coming first to Location History and Web & App Activity and will roll out in the coming weeks,” David Monsees, product manager, Google Search said.
This provides flexibility for users where always keeping the data and not storing the data were the only two options earlier.
“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,” said Marlo McGriff, product manager, Google Maps.
The company blog post while providing the use case for these services said that, “when you turn on settings like Location History or Web & App Activity, the data can make Google products more useful for you — like recommending a restaurant that you might enjoy, or helping you pick up where you left off on a previous search. 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.”
Earlier this year Google pulled the plug on its social network Google Plus after a bug exposed half a million users’ personal information.
At the same time, during Facebook’s two-day developer conference, F8, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that “the future is private.” In a slew of measures, Facebook is going to redesign itself with privacy as the main theme.
After a painful year of the data breaches and almost a dozen investigations over privacy issues, the CEO said that, “I know that we don’t exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly,” adding that Facebook’s new approach to privacy will be a major shift in how the company is run.