A large trend following Facebook and Google is the issues with (or lack of) customer privacy. Along with this is the question of their security and how it benefits their user’s personal information. While this huge spotlight is shone directly onto these two internet powerhouses, this is something that applies to all online resources.
The conversation is backed with the need for better data control from their users. Certain features are being rolled out by Google which reflects the company’s need to keep their customers happy. Google has been internet royalty for a long time, but to keep this crown, they must stay ahead of the curve to provide the best experience possible for users. Here are the major changes Google is making to their security.
Google Data Auto-Delete Option
Google collects data from your searches, and sites or ads you click. They also have permission from most users to gather data relevant to their other internet browsing. This is why you will see ads for items you might have searched on Amazon.
Google does this so they know what you like, or some similar reasoning they claim is in favor of the consumer. Overall it increases the relevancy of their search results. However, our preferences change, and now Google has the option to delete our ‘user data’ from their systems and start anew so that data is kept up to date with less interference from old info.
Location History on Google is an addition to their concept. Locational data helps narrow down what is available or what is popular in your area. But if you move, it can mess with your results in a bad way. All of your locational information saved through Google can now be deleted. While this feature was only recently announced, it should go into effect within a month.
The best part of this feature is that you do not have to constantly go into the settings and delete the user information. You can set it to automatically refresh every month, or so on. Again, improving the user experience by taking this burden off their shoulders.
To clear data from the Locational Services, you must delve into the options within the Google Maps app on your smartphone. First go to the three line menu in the upper left corner, go to “Your Timeline”, then click the dots in the upper right corner for settings. Here, if it is available for your device, you will find the auto-delete option.
More Related YouTube Recommendations
YouTube is owned by Google, so they are rolling out better privacy options, as well. Videos are often showcased on the site under a ‘recommendations’ section. These are drawn a great part from all of the YouTube videos you have watched in the past.
If you regularly return to the same music video, it is more likely to pop up as a recommended option because YouTube knows you must like it. This also makes it easier to find the same video in the future.
While you can watch certain videos more often and the site will get a better idea of what you like, there has been no way to directly block a channel from appearing. If friends or children are using your YouTube, this may get things mixed up. Now, you can stop youTube from recommending channels you dislike.
This option is available on any YouTube apps running on iOS or Android, but cannot be done yet on desktops. This does not stop you from viewing these videos if you choose to, but will stop them from showing up at the top of search results or recommendations.
Some videos on YouTube are disturbing, or just slightly annoying. This can keep these out of your news feed. This can result in a better searching experience for you, or a safer one for children. Algorithms on suggested viewing material take your searches and apply them to adds. One vague search of ‘wholesale pen suppliers’ can leave you with ads for vapes for weeks.
Finally, YouTube will reveal to consumers why certain videos are recommended. This will give the viewer an exact idea of what components of videos they like are being used to find videos they could also enjoy. This hopefully will come with a feedback option so you can tell YouTube what details you are focusing on and when or if they are correct.
Videos on the side of content, which you are in the process of playing, are shown as ‘Up Next.’ That means when the current video ends, it will automatically play next. These are based off of the same suggestions.
This feature has been around for a while and can be convenient, but if suggestions are wrong, they may skew your data in the future. Most users do not know there is a switch off button, where if you toggle ‘Autoplay’ finished songs will no longer continue into the unselected songs on their own.
While these many features are meant to be helpful to the user, some predictive options can make users feel uncomfortable, effectively ruining the users experience. Google is doing there best to curb this issue, giving users the option of what benefits they do or don’t want available for them individually.
Consumer Control Of Data
Google is making real changes to consumer’s data control, to show privacy is a priority for their company. Users can delete data much easier, but still, receive targeted ads, or suggested videos based on their interests. The internet is all about personal experience, and once people begin to feel insecure, they will take steps away from a certain platform or software.
Google has catered to the individual experience in the past, and are making strides to continue doing so. This is what has gotten the company to where they are, so don’t expect Google to stop working for you.
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