Google said on Wednesday that it is bringing changes to its default settings to auto-delete search and location history that it collects about users.
CEO Sundar Pichai announced the new changes in blog post, emphasising the company's commitment to security, privacy and user choice.
"As we design our products, we focus on three important principles: keeping your information safe, treating it responsibly, and putting you in control," Pichai stated.
"Today, we are announcing privacy improvements to help do that."
According to Pichai, users' web and app activity, including location data, as well as, the log of website searches and pages visited, will now be automatically deleted after 18 months.
Similarly, YouTube activity, such as the clips watched, will be deleted after 36 months.
Previously, such logs had been kept indefinitely by default, as the company argued that the information was essential to offer personalised services to individual users.
Pichai added that the auto-delete settings would not apply to logs linked to Gmail, Photos, and its Drive cloud-storage facility.
These changes will apply to new accounts only, although existing users will also receive prompts in coming days to adjust their settings.
Google introduced auto-delete controls last year, giving users the choice to have Google continuously delete their location history, search, voice and YouTube activity data, although this required manually changes, rather than being "on" by default.
Google currently faces increased competitive pressure from Apple over user privacy. The iPhone maker has deliberately chosen a policy that is not reliant on collecting user data.
The search giant is also facing a $5 billion class action suit in California for allegedly tracking users' internet activity through their browser's "incognito" mode.
Last year, Johnny Ryan, the chief policy officer of web browser maker Brave, accused Google of breaching the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by using secret webpages to feed users' personal data to advertisers.
Google denied those claims, saying it doesn't serve "personalised ads or send bid requests to bidders without user consent".
In March, Brave filed an official complaint with Irish Data Protection Commission, accusing Google of infringing the "purpose limitation" principle of the GDPR.
Last year, the European Commission imposed a fine of €1.49 billion on Google over what it claimed were "abusive" online ad practices. In its ruling, the Commission said that the search giant had misused its dominance to restrict competitors from placing their search ads on third-party websites.
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