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In an effort to provide more privacy and data control to their users, Google is now allowing you to automatically delete specific sets of data from Androids.
The issue of privacy has been on the minds of many in recent years — and especially when it comes to one of the biggest tech companies in the world: Google.
For this reason, Google has taken action to quell the privacy fears of its millions of users. To give them extra control over their own data, Google is now allowing users to automatically delete their data after a precise amount of time has passed. This is a move particularly aimed at Android users as Android smartphones are Google products.
Many users of Google and Google products and programs are unaware that Google tracks their activity closely. Furthermore, unless you take the time to delete that data from Google’s cloud, it remains out there — ostensibly, for anyone to access or for Google to retain.
Want to know exactly what gets stored? The answer is everything you do online whenever you are logged into your Google account. You can actually see this information by going to your Google page entitled “My Activity.” This page will include all activity from your Google Play, Chrome, and Google Maps accounts — and get ready. It’s a lot of data.
Most Google users are unaware of their My Activity page or Location History. But just so you’re aware, Google tracks everywhere you go in Google maps (under Location History). It tracks everything you search for in Google Search. And when you have an Android phone, it tracks everything else you do as well because, of course, Androids are Google products.
Actually, it’s always been possible to delete Google data under your My Activity and Location History pages. Still, most people were never aware that Google had been tracking their activity and locations in the first place. Furthermore, they didn’t know how to delete the data or where to go.
The big news from Google is that you can now have Google delete this information automatically. You can set up a system wherein Google deletes your data once every so often without you needing to prompt the deletion. For example, you can set it up so that Google deletes your data once every three months or once every 18 months. You get to decide.
Remember that Web & App Activity is actually different from Location History activity. The following is a list of steps you can take to delete your web and app activity. Next, we’ll go over how to delete location activity.
1. Start by going to your My Activity page. You can do this on your Android device or another smartphone, a tablet device, or a desktop computer.
2. Navigate to the Web & App Activity banner.
3. Click “Choose how long to keep.”
4. From there, choose how often you’d like Google to delete your Google data. Again, you have two choices: three months or 18 months. You can also choose “Keep until I delete manually” if you prefer to do the deletion on your own.
Here is how to delete your location history:
1. Navigate to Google Maps.
2. Click on the three lines that denote the Menu (to the left).
3. Click on “Your timeline” and then on the three dots that denote “More.”
4. Click on “Settings and privacy.”
5. Click on “Location settings.”
6. Click on “Automatically delete Location History.”
7. Just as above, select how long you’d like to wait between deletions of your location data (choose between three months and 18 months).
8. Click “Confirm” to confirm your choice.
Yes and no. Tech experts and others have long been warning people of the dangers of not being in charge of your own data. Tech companies such as Google and Facebook are known for storing users’ data and using it to earn money from advertisers and others.
In this way, it’s wise to be wary of companies like Google taking advantage of your data. Still, it goes without saying that Google products and programs are some of the best-designed and easiest-to-use out there. Therefore, if you’re already using these products and like them, simply make sure to utilize the steps listed above and take away the options Google has to keep your data for an indefinite amount of time.