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Google tightens privacy settings for new users

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Google has begun auto-deleting new users’ search data and location history on a rolling 18 -month basis , CEO Sundar Pichai announced, as the tech giant moves to tighten privacy settings .
The tweak was introduced Wednesday and is the latest attempt by a big online firm to boost public trust after hefty fines were levied against Facebook and Google for privacy violations in recent years .
“ We believe that products should keep your information for only as long as it ’s useful and helpful to you ,” Pichai said in a blog post , adding that the changes were designed to “ keep less data by default .”
When creating a new Google account, “ your activity data will be automatically and continuously deleted after 18 months , rather than kept until you choose to delete it ,” he explained.
Current users can already opt in to auto- delete their data every three or 18 months — a setting that has not changed , although existing users will be reminded of the option to do so.
Smartphone location technology has been in the spotlight as governments study or implements app -based initiatives to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, despite concerns over privacy and civil liberties .
Pinchai, also head of Google’ s parent company Alphabet , asserted that “ privacy is at the heart of everything we do ” in his blog post .
He detailed other changes including easier access to privacy settings within apps and to the more secure “ incognito ” mode .
New users of Google’s subsidiary YouTube will also have their search data auto-deleted after 36 months , Pinchai said.

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