Google has announced that they will now allow you to review and delete your search activity and get quick access to the most relevant privacy controls in your Google Account.
Today, we’re making it easier for you to make decisions about your data directly within the Google products you use every day, starting with Search. Without ever leaving Search, you can now review and delete your recent search activity, get access to the most relevant privacy controls in your Google Account, and learn more about how Search works with your data.
Google is launching this improvement in Google Search on desktop and mobile today, and in the Google app for iOS and Android in coming weeks. They will expand this to Maps next year.
This is a step in the right direction. Users want the option to delete the information and data that Google (and other companies) collect from them. But, I don’t think Google is doing this primarily to benefit users. It might be an attempt to convince users that Google is working on its security and privacy problems.
Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of users of the Google+ social network. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google became aware of that data breach last spring, and opted not to disclose the issue at that time.
In addition, there was the outrage about Google’s decision with Chrome 69, which would automatically log a user into the Chrome browser anytime the user logged into a Google service or site. It appears that Google feels that this was done to protect the user’s privacy – but many people disagree with that interpretation.
It’s also noteworthy that if you decided to click the button to “Delete a Search Activity” it causes a pop-up to appear that, to me, is an attempt to talk users out of deleting their search activity.