Google will automatically wipe users’ location history, search results, voice and YouTube activity data after 18 months, as it faces investigations in Europe and the United States over how it handles consumer’s privacy.
The change in policy, announced by Google boss Sundar Pichai on Wednesday, will apply to Google accounts and existing account holders who turn on their location history.
Mr Pichai said Google only wanted to keep people’s histories as long as it would be useful to them.
Those with older accounts can opt to have their information deleted at three or 18 month intervals by manually changing their account settings. Anyone wishing to retain a log of their activity across Google’s services can switch the delete by default option off.
In addition, Google will start automatically deleting YouTube history after 36 months for new accounts.
Google first introduced the option to “auto-delete” information after three or 18 months in May last year, after it was accused of tracking people even if they had location history switched off, but users had to opt in to it.