Two largest internet platforms: Google and YouTube are giving you more control over your data and recommendations
Top tech companies such as Google and Facebook have rightly found themselves in a bright spotlight lately focused truly on issues of data, privacy, and security. At best, this ongoing focus can spur these powerful organizations to make changes that give people more control over their data and their experience on the platform.
Google has been rolling out tweaks over the past couple of months in this spirit that you should take advantage of. What to look for.
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Your Google data is auto-deleting
Two months ago, Google announced that it would allow you to choose to have certain types of data it collects from you purged regularly and automatically. The auto-delete option comes to a first category called ‘’Web & App Activity.” Google allows you to choose to have that information scrubbed every three months, every eighteen months, or whenever you choose to do it manually.
If you would like to have Google erase that type of data. It can include your Web searches queries, for example, then you can do that by signing into your Google account, clicking on ‘’Data & Customization”, then WEB & APP ACTIVITY, then Manage Activity. Do this on a desktop is an easy route.
Nowadays, Google said on Twitter that the auto-delete option is now rolling out for your Location History, too. We have known since May that they would be offering this feature sometime this month, and now the company is starting to offer it.
Like with Web & App Activity, choose to have Google purge your location data every three months, for example, is a better idea for people who want to strike a balance between privacy and practicality. Those apps like Google Maps, after all, only work well if they know where you are, so taking a step like turning off all location services on your smartphone makes it much less useful device.
The place to look for this option right now is not on your desktop, but with the Google Maps app, whether you are using iOS or Android. On iPhone’s, for example, fire up the Maps app, tap on the three-line menu button at upper left, then Your timeline, then the three dots at upper right, then Settings, then look for the auto-delete option. It may not be available to you just yet.
Make YouTube’s directions better
The most popular app and very helpful features are coming to YouTube, the company announced today. The most useful of the lot is one that will allow preventing the app from recommending specific channels. While the option is not yet available on the desktop version of YouTube.
It should be available already on YouTube apps for iOS and Android that make your apps updated recently. This feature will come in handy when you are in the Home screen YouTube app or if you frequently find a channel you don’t want to watch in your recommendations. You can also read this helpful article 30+ Profitable YouTube Channel Ideas – Best Youtube Niches 2019.
To try it out, scroll through the suggested that YouTube is Presenting to you. You will see three vertical dots to the right, below the video, click on them, and you should see a new option is known as Don’t recommend channel. If you search one of YouTube’s video suggestions offensive, annoying and just plain uninteresting, this is your path towards making sure you don’t watch videos from that channel recommended to you again.
For example, channel recommended to you again, or YouTube keeps suggesting videos for me from Saturday Night Live, and if for some crazy reason I did not want to see them anymore, I could silence the SNL channel this way.
YouTube will be starting to another new feature, too. One will provide topic suggestions at the top of the Home screen and near the Up Next videos. These will take the form of words like Baking or DIY Projects that will appear in bubbles. They could be videos related to the one that you are watching, videos published by the channel you are watching, or other topics which may be of interest to you, said YouTube. Click on a suggestion to find more videos fun Baking videos, for example, if you are feeling hungry.
Lastly, YouTube also said that they will start providing explanations to you about why they are recommending certain videos, so you have more of an idea as to why YouTube thought you might like it.
While the YouTube app is a very busy place, besides these recent improvements, the app does do something else well, you can easily prevent the Up Next videos from playing automatically by to clinch off the Auto-play slider. Now if only Netflix would offer a similar option for that insanely horrible preview auto-play feature you are probably encountered.