Skip to main content

Google announces three new ways to hide your personal activity from Google

Google announces three new ways to hide your personal activity from Google

/

Incognito mode for Maps, auto-delete for YouTube history, and more

Share this story

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is kicking off Cybersecurity Awareness Month by rolling out new tools that give customers greater control over their privacy when using Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Assistant. The company has confirmed that it’s launching incognito mode for Maps, which will debut on Android this month before expanding to iOS “soon.”

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,” Google’s Eric Miraglia wrote in a blog post.

As for YouTube, Google is introducing the same rolling auto-delete feature that can already automatically clear out your location history and web data at an interval of your choosing. “Set the time period to keep your data — 3 months, 18 months, or until you delete it, just like Location History and Web & App Activity — and we’ll take care of the rest,” Miraglia wrote. Pretty straightforward. I’ve had my YouTube history paused for a long, long time now, but this will probably get me to flip it back on with that 3-month limit.

And last, Google is letting you wipe recent voice commands or questions to Google Assistant without having to open an app on your phone. Now you can just say “Hey Google, delete the last thing I said to you” or “delete everything I said to you last week” and that data will be erased. Unfortunately, you can’t delete more than a week’s worth of Google Assistant history using your voice. For that, you’ll still have to dig into Assistant’s settings menu.

Assistant is also now better prepared for a question like “Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?” According to Miraglia, the answer you get “will share information about how we keep your data private and secure.”

Alongside these new options, Google is also building a password checkup feature right into the company’s password manager, which syncs logins across Chrome and Android. You’ll be able to quickly check if your password was compromised in a third-party breach, find any passwords you’re reusing in multiple places, or replace weak, easy-to-guess passwords you might have in place for some accounts.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago Not just you

E
Twitter
Emma RothTwo hours ago
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.


E
Twitter
Emma Roth8:01 PM UTC
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


E
External Link
Emma Roth5:52 PM UTC
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.