Chrome, YouTube, Maps: Google automatically deletes your data after 18 months

Google now automatically removes your data from Chrome and Maps after 18 months. For YouTube, it's twice as long: 36 months. The company has just announced changes in its policy on the retention of personal data. Navigation data in Chrome and YouTube, Google search data and location history in Maps will be deleted by default after 1.5 to 3 years.

Often criticized in the same way as Facebook for its privacy practices, Google has decided to concede some goodwill gestures. For more than a year, it has been possible to activate the automatic deletion of certain personal data from Google's servers after 3 or 18 months. The company has just announced that all data will now be deleted by default after 18 months.

The information concerned is: Google searches on the web or in the Google Search application, navigation data in Chrome, YouTube history, voice commands via Google Wizard or devices such as Google Home and the Nest Hub, etc. Not to mention location history via Google Maps.

"The first time you enable location history, which is disabled by default, the auto-delete option will be set to 18 months by default," the company explains in a blog post. For new accounts, the automatic deletion of other data will also be set to 18 months by default.

YouTube benefits from a longer period of time

Google claims to be guided by the principle that products should retain information only as long as it is likely to be useful to you. For YouTube, for example, the retention period is twice as long. Search data and viewing history will be retained for up to 36 months before being overwritten.

"This improves current industry practices and ensures that YouTube can continue to make relevant entertainment recommendations based on what you've watched or listened to in the past," the firm explains. Finally, if you've already manually enabled automatic deletion, Google won't change your configuration.

It is always possible to disable the option or set the automatic deletion period to 3 months if you wish. Previously, by default, the company kept personal data indefinitely on its servers and deleted them only when the user expressed the will to do so.

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