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Google tweaks data retention policy for search & location history, YouTube data

Google has changed its data retention policy for location history and search activity (both web and app), and will delete such data within 18 months by default. Location history is off by default, but should a user turn it on, this data will be deleted within 18 months by Google.

Over a year ago, Google had introduced an option that let users choose to auto-delete their data. Now it has made auto-deletion a default setting  for new users. For existing users, Google will not change their settings, but will “actively remind” them about auto-delete controls.

Google said it is also bringing this to YouTube; data will be deleted within 3 years for new user, and for existing users who have turned on their YouTube history for the first time. The 3-year timeline was set keeping in mind that broader data can be used for recommendation algorithms.

Default retention periods will not apply to other products like Gmail, Drive and Photos, which are designed to safely store your personal content.

Read more: Privacy at Google I/O: Incognito mode, delete activity data, federated learning, and privacy on Android Q [read]

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