Google simplifies search data controls in wake of security issues

Google simplifies search data controls in wake of security issues

You see, if you go into your Google Activity page and turn off Location History, a prompt will pop up to let you know that if this setting is disabled, you won't be able to enjoy the benefits of location history, such as route recommendations and personalized tips. Although allowing Google to keep your search history can sometimes help you find more relevant results, it is clear that many users favor enhanced privacy. You can now also control the ads you see through the Ad Settings menu and choose the information Google saves by looking at Activity Controls. The features are also available under "Control your data in Google Search" on the search engine's homepage. To use the new feature from your smartphone, navigate to Google Search, select the three-line button on the top-left of the screen, and then select the new "Your Data in Search" option.

The initiative comes as part of Google's push to be more transparent on the data it collects.

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Google stores a history of all the searches you've made while signed in, tying it to your Google account. Its business model is largely based on knowing what links you're likely to open, and that means collecting lots of data.

It seems like a new data privacy scandal crops up every day for some major tech company or another (okay, mostly Facebook) - but Google is working to opt out of that pattern. The same controls will arrive for the users of Google's app on Android and iOS in the coming weeks.

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Simply put: People are more aware of their personal data and how it can be harvested without their explicit consent and maybe weaponized against them and their own self interests.

Other privacy controls such as disabling ad personalization will also now be easier to reach. Realizing this is too complicated for most users, Google says it'll expand this new approach to Maps and other Google products.

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