Google will ‘auto-delete’ your location & web activity data

The auto-delete feature will be available in the coming weeks.

On Wednesday, Google announced that it will now allow users to automatically delete the old location history as well as web history that its services usually save. This will be done using the newly added feature called “Auto-Delete” that lets you delete Location History and App and Web activity data.

So far, users had to manually delete the location data and web history or turn it off for good to prevent Google services from storing data. Now, users can inform Google about the information they want to delete by specifying a certain period such as 3 months on a regular basis.

In this way, users will be able to enjoy more control over critical information such as the location and web history data. This can be regarded as a step in the right direction as it shows Google’s determination to ensure maximum user privacy.

Google’s services offer a Location History feature. If it is turned on, the company will be able to track all the locations that the user visits. The Web and App Activity can keep track of websites that a user visits or the apps in use.

Previously, users could either enable or disable these features and manually delete the data while regular deletion after the user specifies time duration was a far cry. But, now with the addition of Auto-Delete feature data management will become automated and a lot efficient.

“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,” said Google in its blog post.


The new feature will be enabled in the “coming weeks,” according to the announcement made by Google. The company further stated that this was only the first such move in enhancing user control over the services it offers.

Last month, Google revealed about maintaining a database that contains information of location records of tens of thousands of phones from across the world. This database is dubbed Sensorvault and the law enforcement agencies use in investigations. After this revelation, the US Congress asked Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, to answer a series of questions regarding the way this database is used and shared by issuing a briefing on May 10.

Soon after this, Google announced the introduction of the auto-delete feature that will let users select the duration for which they want the information about their location and web/app activity to be stored on the database. They can choose to save it for up to 18 months, after which it will be automatically deleted. They may also choose to delete it after 3 months or opt to delete it manually.

The new feature will be enabled through a step-by-step process. Users will have to visit Google homepage, click on the profile picture displayed in the top right corner and click on the Google Account tab. From the available options, select the Data & Personalization tab and click on Web & App activity. You will be able to see several options, as described above, so choose the option that suits your preferences.

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