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Google Giving More Flexibility To Private Data Removal

By May 22, 2019May 19th, 2022Technology News

Tech giant Google recently unveiled the next step in its plan to put more power in the hands of users when it comes to their own data.  The most recent change involves the introduction of a new auto-delete feature tied to your Google account.

It will allow you to set your Location History, Web data and App Activity data to auto-delete after a set period of time defined by you.

With the way things currently work, users have two options.  They can either disable Location History and Web and App activity entirely. Or they can manually delete portions of their data (or all of it).  Neither option is great, since many apps won’t function with those services disabled, and the second is exceedingly cumbersome.

Worse, an AP investigation last year revealed that even if you take the step of disabling your Location History, Google can, will, and does continue to track your location.  In fact, just last month it came to light that Google maintains a gigantic database called ‘Sensorvault’ that contains the detailed location histories of hundreds of millions of phones around the world. In addition, the company reportedly makes the database available to law enforcement agencies to assist them in solving crimes.

This caught the attention of and drew the ire of privacy advocates around the world. This most recent change comes on the heels of that revelation and to the company’s credit, it’s a good move.

Under the new system, you have three options to choose from:

  • Keep until I delete manually
  • Keep for 18 months, then delete automatically
  • Keep for 3 months, then delete automatically

At this point, there’s no official word from the company on when the new feature will be rolled out. You can be sure that when it is, it will make headlines everywhere.  It’s a pity that it took this long to see, but it’s a solid step in the right direction.

Chris Forte

Chris Forte, President and CEO of Olmec Systems, has been in the MSP workspace for the past 25 years. Chris earned his Master’s Degree from West Virginia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He was a past member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a current member of the New Jersey Power Partners and Executive Association of New Jersey, where he has previously served on its board of directors. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling with his family. He also admits to being a struggling golfer and avid watcher of college football and basketball. He currently lives in Boonton Township, NJ with his wife, two daughters, son, and black lab Luna.