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Google is making it easier to control your private data and search history

Published Oct 24th, 2018 9:27AM EDT
Google Search
Image: Don Ryan/AP/Shutterstock

Google has been harshly scrutinized over the way that it handles user data for years. Not only does Google collect an unfathomable amount of data from us day in and day out, but we have no idea how much of the data is being used or where it’s going. To that end, Google on Wednesday announced via a blog post that it is finally giving users greater control over the endless amount of data that it stores, starting with Google Search.

First and foremost, you can now delete your search history without ever leaving Google Search. Scroll to the bottom of the Your Search activity section on the new Your data in Search page, and you will see options to either delete the last hour of your search activity or all search activity you’ve ever conducted.

The new page also provides easy access to privacy controls in your Google Account relevant to Search, such as the ability to decide whether or not ads should be personalized based on the data the company has gathered, and activity controls, like voice recordings and location information while you browse Google sites. The page also includes details about how exactly the data collected when you search on Google is being used.

The new privacy options are available today on desktop and mobile web today, with an update for the Google app on iOS and Android to follow in the coming weeks. In 2019, Google will expand these features to Maps, with many more Google services set to receive additional privacy features in the years to come.

Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.