With the increasing scrutiny around the privacy of users, Google has announced some new features to give us all some additional peace of mind. Updates to Maps, YouTube, and Assistant will make it easier to control how much of your data the company has access to, and Password Checkup will help you ensure everything stays secure.
With Incognito mode in Maps, you’re now able to hide your movements and searches from Google for the duration of the session. You’ll lose all of your personalized content and recommendations, but it’s easy to switch back when you need to. To turn Incognito mode on, tap your profile icon and select it from the options. It’s coming to Android later this month and will eventually land on iOS too.
The ability to auto-delete your web activity and location history was rolled out by Google in the summer, and now YouTube is getting the same feature. There will be three choices for how long YouTube stores your history: 3 months, 18 months, or until you delete it. You can still turn off your history altogether if you’d prefer. You can edit these settings on the web here. Google will also be bringing auto-deletion to other products in the future.
After an update to the Assistant that will start arriving on phones next week, it’ll be possible to simply ask Google about your privacy settings and change them with your voice. To get some information, you’ll be able to say “Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?” And if you want to delete something you asked, that’s easy — “Hey Google, delete the last thing I said to you.” This will also work for the past week, e.g. “delete everything I said to you last week.” Anything longer than that and you’ll be sent to your Assistant settings with even more granular controls.
Finally, Password Checkup will help you choose a more secure password when you’re using something a little bit too weak or generic, and it’ll also alert you when one of your accounts has potentially been compromised. If you’re using the same password for multiple services — something that many people are likely guilty of — that will also be pointed out to you. Head to passwords.google.com to see if your saved passwords need improving. The Password Checkup extension Google made available earlier this year will be built into Chrome in a future update, too, so it’ll stay on top of your security at all times without you needing to install anything extra.