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Google’s Location History feature, if enabled, allows the company to track locations that you have visited, while Web and App Activity tracks websites you have visited and apps you have used.
Google allowed you to either altogether disable the Location History and Web and App Activity feature or manually delete all or part of that data, providing no controls for regular deletion so that users can manage their data efficiently.
Just last month, it was also revealed that Google maintains a database containing detailed location records from hundreds of millions of phones around the world, called Sensorvault, that’s reportedly being used by law enforcement agencies to solve crime cases.
Following the revelation, U.S. Congress last week asked Google CEO Sundar Pichai to issue a briefing by May 10 on a series of questions on how the Sensorvault database is used and shared by the company.
After concerns and feedback from users over their data, Google introduced the new auto-delete feature, allowing users to now select how long they want their location and web activity data to be saved on the company’s servers by providing them to choose between three options:
- Keep until I delete manually
- Keep for 18 months then delete automatically
- Keep for 3 months then delete automatically
Here’s How You Can Enable Auto-Delete Option
Though the option is not available yet, the GIF shared by Google describes the step-by-step process to activate the auto-delete feature:
- Visit Google homepage and tap on your profile picture in the upper-right corner
- Click on the Google Account button.
- Select the Data & Personalization tab and click Web & App activity
- Select “Choose to delete automatically.”
- Choose between “Keep until I delete manually,” “Keep for 18 months,” and “Keep for 3 months” options
- Click Next and confirm your choice
For users who don’t want the company ever to track their location or web and app history can simply turn off their “Location History” and “Web and App Activity” settings.According to Google, the auto-delete feature for Location History and Web & App Activity will be rolling out “in the coming weeks.”