Limit The Duration Google Holds Your Data

Google has made security and privacy major features at it's annual I/O developers Conference in California recently.  

The company went so far as to say that “security and privacy are the central theme” of its upcoming Android Q release

But supposing you want to take some control over what data Google has about you right now. Right now, anyone with a Google account can start limiting how long their data gets stored using new settings. 

The feature allows users to set a time limit for Google to retain certain types of data, either three months or 18 months, after which the information is automatically deleted.

For now, the auto-delete feature is only available for “Web & App Activity,” which tracks things like your searches and other browsing data. The company will offer options across more services in the future, including highly anticipated controls for location data.

None of this will happen on its own, though. By default, Google will continue to indefinitely retain the Web & Activity data you’ve set it to collect, everything by default. In this state, before auto-delete is turned on, the Web & App Activity page says, “Your activity is being kept until you delete it manually.”

To make the changes, log into your Google Account and go to Web & App Activity. Then press the “Choose to delete automatically” button. An overlay will offer three options: “Keep until I delete manually,” “Keep for 18 months then delete automatically,” and “Keep for 3 months then delete automatically.”

Google says that “what you search, read, and watch can work together to help you get things done faster, discover new content, and pick up where you left off,” as an explanation for why you might want to store your data longer.

Google already allowed users to "pause" data collection for Web & App Activity altogether. If you have that enabled, there will be no data for Google to delete, but it still can’t hurt to enable another line of defense.

“Our goal is simple: earn and keep your trust by clearly explaining how our products work and how we’ll uphold our commitment to respect your privacy,” Google says in the commitment statement.

Users will also be able to migrate their Nest accounts into a new or existing Google account so they can have access to Google security features like suspicious activity monitoring and expanded options for two-factor authentication.

Nest already offers two-factor authentication, though, so you can also just make sure you have that turned on if you want to ward off takeovers without linking even more of your life to your Google account.

Wired

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