Google Announces New Privacy Enhancements
Google is kicking off Cybersecurity Awareness Month by rolling out new tools that give customers greater control over their privacy when using Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Assistant. The company has confirmed that it’s launching incognito mode for Maps, which will debut on Android this month before expanding to iOS “soon.”
When you turn on incognito mode in Maps, your Maps activity on that device, like the places you search for, won’t be saved to your Google Account and won’t be used to personalize your Maps experience,” Google’s Eric Miraglia wrote in a blog post.
As for YouTube, Google is introducing the same rolling auto-delete feature that can already automatically clear out your location history and web data at an interval of your choosing. “Set the time period to keep your data — 3 months, 18 months, or until you delete it, just like Location History and Web & App Activity — and we’ll take care of the rest,” Miraglia wrote. Pretty straightforward.
And last, Google is letting you wipe recent voice commands or questions to Google Assistant without having to open an app on your phone. Now you can say “Hey Google, delete the last thing I said to you” or “delete everything I said to you last week” and that data will be erased. Unfortunately, you can’t delete more than a week’s worth of Google Assistant history using your voice. For that, you’ll still have to dig into the Assistant’s settings menu.
Assistant is also now better prepared for a question like “Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?” According to Miraglia, the answer you get “will share information about how we keep your data private and secure.”
Alongside these new options, Google is also building a password checkup feature right into its password manager, which syncs logins across Chrome and Android. You’ll be able to quickly check if your password was compromised in a third-party breach, find any passwords you’re reusing in multiple places, or replace weak, easy-to-guess passwords you might have in place for some accounts.