We have all desired a world where everyone can visit any website without being worried about people invading our privacy. With Google’s “near-monopoly,” and ability to almost single-handedly decide the turn of events, our ability to determine what happens to our activity logs remained a mirage for a very long time. There appears to be some positive news—Google is adding the ability to let you auto-delete your activity logs in its latest updated.
The search engine giant per VentureBeat, is launching auto-delete controls for location history and web/app activity logs. The auto-delete setting will be rolled out in the coming weeks. When rolled out, users will be able to select one of two windows-three months or 18 months, which specifies exactly how long they would like to retain data. This can be done from within the Google Account dashboard on both mobile and the web, where a dropdown menu allows them to choose any of the two options. The auto-delete setting will cover services like Discover on Android, Maps, Search, and Google Play. According to Google, any older data will be deleted on an ongoing basis.
“Data can make Google products more useful for you … [but] we’ve heard your feedback that we need to provide simpler ways for you to manage or delete it,” Google product managers Marlo McGriff and David Monsees said in a blog post. “You should always be able to manage your data in a way that works best for you — and we’re committed to giving you the best controls to make that happen.”
In related news, it seems Google is bringing ads to the Assistant on Android. With this, Google is set to make the powerful assistant more interesting with better visual responses. What that means is that when next you ask the assistant a question, you going to get responses that show the standard Google Search layout. I am sure you know what that means—it responses will not only look like what you have in Google Search, but with ads as well.
Going forward, all responses will look exactly like what you would usually see if you query a search from your mobile browser. Prior to this tweak, the assistant would show a pared-down version in response to your queries.
While this minor tweak makes the assistant more attractive to users, it has a downside—you will start seeing ads. Maybe a few ads to kick off the new layout, but there are chances that Google may increase the number of ads as time goes on.
Google Assistant still won’t be able to provide you with complete answers to some of your search queries, but will instead show you links to various sources so you can learn more.