Google is outing a new tool that’ll enable account holders to automatically delete all of location history and web/app activity data the company has collated.
The new Google account setting will let users choose whether they want it purged from Google’s servers after three months, or 18 months moving forward.
This move comes following controversy over the data Google collects on users’ locations even when they turn off the Location History setting on their device.
An Associated Press report last summer found services like Google Maps are still noting the user’s every move. The only difference turning off the Location History setting made was to ensure the data was no longer added to the company’s consumer-facing Timeline feature.
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In order to halt the location tracking itself, it was necessary to turn off Web and App Data at the myactivity.google.com website; something that wasn’t obvious to the vast majority of users out there.
Now the company is seeking to bring this data under one easy to use setting that is certainly more transparent than the previous method. The feature is rolling out in the coming weeks, but in the meantime you’ll still be able to go into your account and manually delete the Location History and Web and App Activity.
In a blog post on May 1, the company writes: “Whether you’re looking for the latest news or the quickest driving route, we aim to make our products helpful for everyone. And when you turn on settings like Location History or Web & App Activity, the data can make Google products more useful for you—like recommending a restaurant that you might enjoy, or helping you pick up where you left off on a previous search. 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.
“You should always be able to manage your data in a way that works best for you–and we’re committed to giving you the best controls to make that happen.”
Do you think Google is atoning for its previously misleading comments here? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.