Google adds enhanced privacy tools to Maps and YouTube

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Google Maps and YouTube privacy tools
It's getting easier to not be tracked in Maps. And YouTube is getting a timed history auto-delete.
Photo: Google

Google just promised that Incognito mode will soon be added to Maps. And YouTube is getting timed auto-delete for the user’s video history. In addition, a new Password Checkup tool helps users avoid common passcodes.

This advertising company has been making similar changes to its other services in hopes of shaking a reputation for privacy invasion.

Incognito mode coming to Maps

Many users will be familiar with Incognito mode from the Chrome web browser. It’s now being added to Maps.

“When you turn on Incognito mode in Maps, your Maps activity on that device, like the places you search for, won’t be saved to your Google Account and won’t be used to personalize your Maps experience,” says Eric Miraglia, the Director of Product Management for Google’s Privacy and Data Protection Office.

This feature is already available in YouTube.

YouTube gets timed history auto-delete

Google already allows users to automatically delete their search history after a certain amount of time. It’s adding this feature to YouTube.

It can be set to make this service forget which videos the user has watched after 3 months or 18 months. This is a rolling deletion, not a one-time thing.

Give your online security a Password Checkup

It’s easy to criticize people who use passwords like “Password1234” but most people are guilty of using the same codephrase on multiple sites, another example of poor security.

To help, Google created Password Checkup. Andreas Tuerk, the product manager, says this “checks the strength and security of all of your saved passwords, tells you if we find they’ve been compromised (for example, in a breach), and gives you personalized, actionable recommendations when needed.”

Google isn’t doing all this out of the goodness of its heart. Its business model is to collect all the data it can about its users and then sell user profiles to advertisers. And the company is facing threats of increased regulation on wholesale data collection, and is therefore trying to improve how it’s perceived by the public and legislators.

Source: Google and Google