Google will delete usage data by default after 18 months. However, this only applies to new accounts. Older accounts will soon have the option of also being able to set these deletion periods.
In the future, Google will delete usage data by default as soon as certain deadlines expire. These provisions apply to web and app data, browser histories and localization data. By default, these are deleted for new accounts after 18 months. However, the deadline can also be reduced to up to 3 months. An exception is the historical data on YouTube. Which videos and how long they are watched is only deleted here after 36 months.
It is important to note that this only applies to new accounts by default. For older accounts, however, Google will soon provide an option that can also be used to set the deletion periods. Google justifies this with the fact that curated data should not be simply deleted. After all, many users also rely on the fact that they can work with their data more efficiently.
Google responds to criticism and possible legal action
After years of criticism from data protection and civil rights activists, Google is finally responding. Impending legal pressure has also contributed significantly. The BBC reports that the US Department of Justice is currently in contact with the Attorney General’s Office regarding Google. This involves alleged anti-competitive behavior on the part of Google. An important point is probably the supremacy of Google in online searches.
A case against Facebook was opened at the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe on Tuesday. Here too it is about distortion of competition. At the heart of the indictment is the inadequate obtaining of consent to the “limitless data collection” on Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and third-party websites.
In a statement, Google Product Manager David Monsees said that “data minimization […] is one of our most important data protection principles”. He also answered the question of why data is stored longer on YouTube. Here it is more complex to find appropriate music and video recommendations, which is why a longer period would make sense.
Of course, the deletion of the data does not affect Google Photos, Gmail and data on Google Drive. However, according to Monsees, this data would not be used for advertising purposes anyway.