With growing concerns about how personal data is handled by large companies, Google have introduced a range of new features to give you more control over your information.
Incognito mode was launched into the Chrome web browser in 2008, and has since become a go-to for those concerned about their actions and movements around the web being tracked.
Starting this month, users of the Google Maps app will also be able to search in Incognito Mode, meaning that viewed locations and routes will not be associated with your google account.
You can easily switch between standard and Incognito Mode by tapping on your profile picture and selecting the mode from the menu, just as you would to switch to another Google account from within the app.
However, if you use Incognito Mode you will not receive a personalised experience which shows restaurant recommendations, details about your commute, and other helpful features. This feature is coming to Android phones later this month, and iOS soon after.
In addition to this change to their Maps app, Google are also expanding Auto-delete to the video streaming service YouTube. Introduced to certain Google serviced in May this year, these controls let you choose whether you would like your data to be automatically deleted after 3 or 12 months. You can also choose to keep the data until you delete it yourself.
It’s not only in apps that you can manage the storage of your data. Voice commands are being added to allow you to get a better understanding of hour your information is stored and processed through the Google Assistant.
Ask “Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?” and you will be explained the details of information handling. You could also ask “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you last week” or “Hey Google, delete the last thing I said to you” to remove certain periods from the records. This is coming to English-speaking users next week, and other languages next month.
Password Checkup has also been launched to help users to keep track of passwords and ensure their credentials are secure. Built into Google’s password manager, the Password Checkup allows you to check the strength of saved passwords and checks whether they have been compromised (such as from a third-party breach), giving you personal, actionable recommendations when things are less secure than they could be.
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