Google ramps up privacy controls; gives users more control over saved data

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San Francisco, May 8 As governments the world over push tech giants to fix privacy issues, Google has announced a slew of additional privacy and security tools for its users across products and platforms.

The company last week announced a new control that lets users choose a time limit for the amount of time their Location History and Web and App Activity data will be saved — three or 18 months.

“Any data older than that will be automatically and continuously deleted from your account if you choose. This new control is available from May 7 for Web and App Activity and coming next month to Location History,” Eric Miraglia, Director of Product Management, Privacy and Data Protection Office at Google, announced late Tuesday.

Google users would see their Account profile picture appear in the top right corner across products like Gmail, Drive, Contacts and Pay.

“To quickly access your privacy controls, just tap on your picture and follow the link to your Google Account. The prominent placement of your profile picture also makes it easier to know when you’re signed into your Google Account,a Miraglia said in a blog post as the company kick-started its annual I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California.

Google is bringing the one-tap access to more products this month, including Search, Maps, YouTube, Chrome, the Assistant and News.

“You’ll be able to review and delete your location activity data directly in Google Maps, and then quickly get back to your directions,” said the company.

Google launched “Incognito” mode in Chrome more than a decade ago, that allows users to browse the Internet without their activities being saved to the browser or device.

“As our phones become the primary way we access the internet, we thought it was important to build Incognito mode for our most popular apps. It’s available in YouTube and coming soon to Maps and Search,” announced the company.

When you turn on Incognito mode in Maps, your activity — like the places you search or get directions to — won’t be saved to your Google Account.

Google also announced that Android Q is bringing privacy to the forefront of Settings and creating more transparency and control around location.

“We have announced plans to give users more visibility into the data used to personalize ads and the companies involved in the process for the ads that Google shows on our own properties and those of our publishing partners,” said Miraglia.

The company said that its “Safe Browsing” technology protects nearly 4 billion devices every day to blocking more than 100 million spam and phishing attempts in Gmail every day.


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