(Pocket-lint) - Google is changing its data handling practices, by announcing it will automatically delete new users' personal data after a set period of time.

In a blog post, CEO Sundar Pichai said Google is focused on three important principles when it comes to users' data: "Keeping your information safe, treating it responsibly, and putting you in control,” Pichai wrote. “Today, we are announcing privacy improvements to help do that.”

Google has many services that collect personal data, including Chrome, YouTube, and Maps. That data helps Google offer a customised experience, but it's also concerning for those who are privacy-conscious. Google seems to understand that now, as the company has announced it will delete new users’ history after 18 months by default. This is an expansion of what was previously available.

Last year, Google began letting users automatically delete their history after three or 18 months, but the feature was not enabled by default.


Google will now delete data for search history, location history, and voice commands from Google Assistant or Google Home. Google logs your data in its My Activity page, where you can also manually delete specific points. Google's new default only apply to new users; existing Google accounts won’t see any settings changes, though they can enable it from the Activity page.

As part of this announcement, Google will also simplify Chrome’s Incognito mode, allowing mobile users to switch to Incognito mode with a long-press on their profile picture. This feature launches on 24 June on iOS and will soon come to Android and other platforms.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.