In today’s world, true privacy and anonymity are rare. This is especially true when it comes to our smartphones and computers. With virtual assistants recording what we say, GPS saving and tracking where we go, and search engines, even within apps, automatically storing our queries we have little to no control over the information these smart devices have on us.
Finally, thanks to Google, that’s about to change. In the spirit of Cyber Security Month (October), Google has launched some new privacy features for users of Google Maps, Youtube, and (coming soon) Google Assistant. If you have a Google account, you already know about the incognito feature for browsing the web and the ability to delete your account history manually and/or control how long it is stored (3 or 18 months). Now, Google users will have the same options for both Maps and Youtube.
Control and Delete
When using Google Maps, you will have the option to go “Incognito”. In this mode, Google Maps will not save the locations you search for or save any of that information in order to personalize your experience.
In Youtube, Google is copying the automatic history deletion feature already in use on Google Accounts locations and history. Now, you can schedule your Youtube search history to delete automatically every three to eighteen months, or you can delete it yourself manually.
Both the features for Google Maps and Youtube are available now, so check out your app settings and enjoy searching, traveling, and viewing in peace and privacy (from the internet at least).
Forget About It
Finally, something to look forward to as well, Google is releasing a voice command action for the Google Assistant. Users will be able to manage their voice commands/questions recorded by the virtual assistant. The user will simply say something along the lines of, “Hey Google! Delete everything I have said to you since [fill in the blank]”. After this feature is released in the coming weeks, it will be ready to go. No additional setup or management required.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU
Google’s new privacy features allow its users to have more control over what their phones and the internet know about them. You have the freedom to manage the data your apps and search engines store, limiting the information it records and can infer based on your inputs.