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Google tightens privacy settings for new users

SAN FRANCISCO: Google has begun auto-deleting search data and location history for new users on a rolling 18-month basis as the tech giant moves to tighten privacy settings.
The move is the latest attempt to boost public trust after hefty fines were levied against Facebook and Google for privacy violations in recent years.
“We believe that products should keep your information for only as long as it’s useful and helpful to you,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post, adding that the changes were designed to “keep less data by default.”
He explained that when creating a new Google account user “activity data will be automatically and continuously deleted after 18 months, rather than kept until you choose to delete it.”

READ MORE: Google faces $5 billion lawsuit for tracking private internet use

Current users can already opt in to auto-delete their data every three or 18 months, although existing users will be reminded of the option to do so.
Smartphone location technology has been in the spotlight as governments study or implement app-based initiatives to prevent the spread of the coronavirus despite privacy concerns.
Pichaidetailed other changes including easier access to privacy settings within apps and to the more secure ‘incognito’ mode.
He asserted that “privacy is at the heart of everything we do” in his blog post. He said new users of YouTube will also have their search data auto-deleted after 36 months.
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