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Google

Google on Wednesday announced new limits on how long it will maintain data for some of its services, expanding a data minimization push that began last year.

Why it matters: Google has been trying to strengthen its privacy policies even as it continues to make most of its money by selling advertising.

Details:

  • Google began this effort last year at its I/O developer conference, giving users an option to automatically delete information from their location and app history after either 3 months or 18 months.
  • As of Wednesday, the default setting will be set for information to be automatically deleted after 18 months for new accounts and for those turning on location history for the first time.
  • A new auto-delete option is also coming to YouTube, with the default for new users set to auto-delete data after 36 months.
  • Google won't change existing users' settings, but will remind customers through emails and notifications about the option to turn on aut0-delete. The company said it will also make it easier for users to find privacy settings as well as to go into and stay in incognito mode in search, YouTube and maps.

The big picture: Apple has been heavily touting the privacy of its products, including data minimization, with new options coming with iOS 14. Google, meanwhile, aims to make the case that privacy shouldn't be a luxury that users have to pay for.

Between the lines: Google as a company has long profited from advertising that targets individual users; however, CEO Sundar Pichai has said that it collects well more data than it needs for advertising.

"We believe that products should keep your information for only as long as it's useful and helpful to you—whether that’s being able to find your favorite destinations in Maps or getting recommendations for what to watch on YouTube," Pichai said in a statement.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 30, 2020 - Technology

Google introduces Pixel 5, new Chromecast, Nest Audio smart speaker

Screenshot: Axios

Google formally introduced its fall crop of hardware Wednesday, including two new Pixel phones, a new Nest smart speaker and an updated Chromecast, although details of the new products had already leaked widely online.

Why it matters: The announcements give Google some new products heading into the holiday season as it looks to compete with the latest offerings from Amazon, Roku, Apple and others.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

German election: Exit polls show close race to succeed Angela Merkel

SPD leader Olaf Scholz. Photo: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BERLIN — Exit polls from Sunday's German elections showed the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) slightly ahead of the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) in a tight election race to succeed Angela Merkel.

State of play: Official results were still rolling in, but a partial count showed the SPD ahead with 26% of the vote and the CDU on just over 24%.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Liz Cheney: Americans deserve better than choice of Biden or Trump

Rep. Liz Cheney talks with Lesley Stahl on CBS' "60 Minutes." Photo: CBS News

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that Americans "deserve better than having to choose between" President Biden's "disastrous" policies and former President Trump, "who violated his oath of office."

Why it matters: Cheney made the remarks after CBS' Lesley Stahl put it to her in the interview that Republicans feel that her joining the House select committee in charge of investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot helps "keep the focus on Trump instead of on the shortcomings of the Biden administration."