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Safety & Security

Privacy Awareness Week 2019



Whether it’s delivering search results in the correct language or recommending the quickest route home, data can make Google products more helpful to you. And you should be able to understand and manage your data—and make privacy choices that are right for you. That’s why easy-to-use privacy features and controls have always been built into our products. We made some privacy related announcements last week that we want to highlight during Privacy Awareness Week when a lot of people and businesses are actively thinking about privacy.

One-tap access to your Google Account from all our major products 

A few years ago, we introduced Google Account to provide a comprehensive view of the information you’ve shared and saved with Google, and one place to access your privacy and security settings. Privacy controls should be easy to find and use and now we’re making it even easier to find these controls. Today you’ll see your Google Account profile picture appear in the top right corner across products like Gmail, Drive, Contacts and Pay. To quickly access your privacy controls, just tap on your picture and follow the link to your Google Account.

GIF showing how to access privacy settings on your Google account

Auto-Delete Options 

We are also introducing automatic deletion options, which will enable Google users to set a time limit for how long they want some data to be saved. They can choose to automatically delete data from their account after 3 or 18 months. These controls are available now for Web and App Activity and they will be launched for Location History in the coming weeks.

Your Data in Maps, the Assistant, and more 

Late last year, we launched a new feature called Your Data in Search, which puts privacy and security front and centre in Google Search. We are now making this feature available in Google Maps and the Assistant, with YouTube coming later this month. This provides quick access to the most relevant privacy controls by making privacy settings easy to access while using our products. Any older data will be automatically and continuously deleted from your account.


A video showing how we use data to power Google Maps
10:25

Incognito mode in Google apps 

Incognito is a very popular feature in Chrome and we are bringing this functionality to additional surfaces this year. It’s available in YouTube and is coming soon to Maps and Search. Tap from your profile picture to easily turn it on or off. While using Incognito, a user’s activity, for example the places they search for or navigated to, won’t be linked to their Google account. When users turn off Incognito mode, their apps and devices will be cleared of this history, enabling them to confidently share screens with friends or family.

Chrome privacy enhancements 

We also announced that we are updating Chrome to provide users with improved controls for managing cookies and stepping up our efforts to restrict “fingerprinting,” to ensure that users’ privacy choices are respected. You can read more about these changes here.

Personalised ads 

Furthermore, as part of our continued work to improve privacy in the ads-supported ecosystem, Google will provide enhanced visibility into personalised advertising, and we will provide tools for others to do the same. We believe that we can build products and privacy for everyone and we are working to bring a thoughtful and thorough approach to improving user privacy in the ad-supported ecosystem.

Our work on privacy is never done and we will continue to consider new ways for our users to manage their privacy. You can learn more about these updates in our blogpost and check out these 5 things you can do right now to stay safer online.