YouTube is adding a new setting that will enable users to auto-delete their search and viewing histories after a designated period of time, as part of a larger privacy initiative by parent company Google.
While users have always been able to manually delete their histories, Variety notes, the new options will enable them to choose between an auto-delete period of either three or 18 months. Users will also have the option to disable history-tracking altogether with a ‘pause’ option, though Variety notes that this will simultaneously inhibit YouTube’s ability to recommend videos based on past behavior, as well as — presumably much to Google’s dismay — its ability to serve targeted ads.
All of the new controls are available at myactivity.google.com.
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“We’re constantly working to improve the products that billions of people use right now,” Eric Miraglia, Google’s director of product management, privacy, and data protection office, wrote in a company blog post. “We’re also looking to the future so that teams at Google, and other organizations, can build new products and develop new engineering techniques, with privacy and security as core principles.”
Other new privacy features rolling out today, per Variety, include an ‘Incognito Mode’ for Google Maps, the ability to vocally delete past activity from Google Assistant, and Password Checkup — a new tool that tells users with a single click if their passwords are considered weak or whether they have been compromised.