Google is rather omnipresent; it owns the most popular search engine, it owns the most popular web browser (Chrome), it owns the most popular email service (Gmail), it owns the most popular video sharing website (YouTube), and then there’s Google Maps. Between these services, Google has a lot of your data; where you go, what you search for, what you watch, and who you talk to. It keeps all your data until you delete it but as of a recent change, you can automatically delete Google account data after 3 or 18 months. Here’s how.
Automatically delete Google account data
This feature is available for both Google and G Suite accounts.
Visit this link in your preferred browser. Sign in to your Google account if you aren’t already signed in. This will take you to the Activity Controls page. Click the Manage Activity option.
On the next screen, look for and click Web & App activity. Under it, you will see that your web and app activity is being tracked and by default it is set to save until you delete it yourself. Under this option, you will see a new one called “Choose to delete automatically”. Click it.
You will see a pop up that gives you two options for automatically deleting your data. The options are for deleting data after 18 months, and after 3 months. Those are the only two options there are. Select one to automatically delete Google data.
It seems Google would like to keep your data for at least 3 months. The data is needed to suggest content, among other things. You do have the option to delete it manually and if you want, you can do it everyday. It’s tedious to say the least but if you don’t want any of the data to stay with Google too long, this is your only option.
You can do this in your browser, or from the Google app on your Android. Go to the Settings screen and look under Privacy. For some reason, this same feature isn’t available on the Google for iOS app. It will likely roll out to the app but it will take quite a while.
If you don’t see this option under your Google Web & App activity section, give it a few days, or weeks. Google announced this feature on May 1, 2019 and some users were able to use it right away. For others, the feature is still rolling out.