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Google to automatically delete user location history by default after 18 months

TORONTO — Google is adopting new privacy features and data retention practices across its core products, which include its search engine, Google Maps and YouTube.

It says data on location history collected by some of its platforms will now be deleted after 18 months by default, although users can choose to have it deleted after three months.

YouTube history data will be retained by default for 36 months, which Google says improves on current industry practices, but users can adjust their settings to delete the information after three months or 18 months.  

Previously, Google retained data about use of its search engine and other services indefinitely unless the user chose to delete it.

Google generates the majority of its revenue by automatically matching advertising with people that use the company's free online platforms.

However, privacy experts have raised concerns about how Google, Facebook and other technology companies collect and commercialize personal information.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2020.


The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly stated the default period for YouTube.

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