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Google will now let you automatically delete location and activity history. Here's how

A small win in the fight for more privacy control.


Google is letting users take back a little bit more of their privacy

On Wednesday, the search giant introduced a new autodelete feature for location, app and web history. As opposed to manually having to wipe their histories, with the new feature Google users will be able pick a length of time, either three months or 18 months, that Google will save the data. Any older data will be deleted automatically. 

The option to let Google keep the data until you manually delete it will also remain. You can also still choose to pause Google's web and app activity tracking. 

In addition to helping Google with ads, the company says this data allows it to provide better search results and recommendations in apps like Google Maps. 

Like prior privacy controls, the autodelete function can be enabled in your Google Account. Google says the controls will begin rolling out "in the coming weeks."

Google's privacy update comes as tech companies face increasing scrutiny over how they handle user data. While it may not be a complete win, as it appears users still will need to opt in to enable the feature, it's a step in the right direction. 

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How to delete your Google location data

1. Open your Google account

2. Scroll and tap Data & personalization

3. Under Activity Controls, tap Web & App Activity

4. Select Choose to delete automatically

5. Tap Choose how long to keep Web & App Activity

6. Tap to select either 18 months or 3 months, and save

Remember, this is rolling out to users, so don't be alarmed if you don't see these options immediately.

Originally posted May 1 at 10 a.m. PT.