Google will soon allow users to auto-delete location history and search data.
Google is an information machine. It’s a company built on the premise of utilising the world’s information, and since its inception in 1998, it’s done a fantastic job of that.
I think most of us have grown to appreciate the easy access we have to much of the world’s information. Google helps us learn, navigate around town, find the best travel deals, shop, and much more. All of this within seconds, and often customised to our location and the context we find ourselves in when we make those searches.
To do this as well as it does Google requires data. Lots of data. We consumers know this and by and large accept it as a fact of modern digital life. It’s part of the trade-off of having access to Google’s help at our fingertips. However, there’s also concerns many share about all this data-gathering of our personal behaviours, and a growing vocal pushback against what some see as an invasion of privacy.
In response to this, Google has recently announced moves to allow users to automatically delete some aspects of their data - namely; location data, web-browsing history and data about the apps they've been using.
Some of these data-deletion options have been available already but have had to be applied manually by each user. The new features announced this month allow users to remove such information automatically, based on a regular schedule they set up. This provides a balance between Google permanently storing data and its users having to delete it manually.
Google states about the new services, "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", alongside a commitment to providing the best controls to make that data management happen.
What do you think?