Newly created Google accounts come with automatic removal enabled by default for all data types, a function that users had to enter and select beforehand.
Google keeps your data, which it uses to select content and ads on its services, in three categories:
- Web and app history (including Chrome browsing history and Google Assistant voice and audio data)
- YouTube search and view histories
- Google Maps history and GPS location data
Google will now automatically delete location and web / app data after 18 months and YouTube history after three years by default on all new accounts. This means that you don’t have to remember to update your automatic removal settings or manually enter and delete your activity.
However, if you prefer to have your data automatically deleted within 18 months (or three years!), You can update your settings to automatically delete it after three months, a process we will explain below.
Please note that this new policy applies only to new accounts, which means that you will still have to opt for automatic removal on existing Google accounts. We have a complete guide to that process (and why it matters), but here’s a quick overview:
In you Google activity panelclick “Activity controls” in the left sidebar. Scroll down to the type of data you want to manage and click the “Remove automatically” option. Toggle the time period (three months or 18 months) in the popup and click Next> Confirm.
G / O Media may receive a commission
Note that you will have to go through this process separately for your web and app activity, location services, and automatic YouTube history deletion settings.
Unfortunately, you cannot choose not to participate in Google data collection entirely. But enabling automatic deletion (on existing accounts) or updating your time frame (on new accounts) helps both protect your privacy and ensure that Google provides you with content recommendations based on your current preferences.