Google promises to let users easily delete their recent search history. It’s part of a number of privacy changes announced Tuesday at Google I/O.
The company makes its money from advertising but has had to step up its privacy offerings because of pressure from government regulators and Apple.
Delete your search history
Anyone who wants to erase the search terms they’ve just been using will soon have be able to. “We’re introducing a new, ‘quick delete’ option to delete the last 15 minutes of your Search history with a single tap from the Google Account Menu,” promised Jen Fitzpatrick, the company’s SVP of Core Systems. Open your profile icon on Google and there’ll be a button to erase your recent search history.
The company doesn’t just save the terms your looked for, but also the pages you visited as part of the search. It adds these search histories to the personal profiles it creates for all users, and then sells the info to advertisers.
Fitzpatrick did not say when the “quick delete” feature will be implemented. Or if it’ll be available on the web or only in the Google Search application.
The company started allowing users to delete recent search histories in 2018 but it required many more steps than this.
More privacy changes from Google
The advertising giant is also adding a passcode-protected Locked Folder in Google Photos. These images won‘t show up in the grid or in shared albums. Fitzpatrick says this is coming to Android and made no mention on Tuesday of the iOS app.
Plus Google Maps will remind users if they are allowing the app to track their Location History. And it will be easy to turn this setting off in Timeline.
Google and Apple have a frenemies relationship. The iPhone-maker frequently criticisms its rival — though never by name — for privacy violations. But Apple also receives billions of dollars to let Google remain the default search engine for the Safari web browser.