Mac360 has ads but no ad trackers. Check around other websites and what do you see? Ads. What you can’t see are all the trackers those websites allow to follow you online. There are methods to check all those trackers but browser makers could make it much easier to delete them with a Tracking Delete button.
A number of new browsers come with built-in ad blockers and tracker blockers. Firefox, Brave, and others. Safari has a few options to reduce trackers, but since Apple collects a few billion dollars a year from Google to make the search engine the default on Safari, don’t look for such a tracking delete button from Apple.
Yet, it’s time.
Google seems to understand that the handwriting on the wall has begun to turn into a target, and to ward off government intervention has taken steps to auto-delete location history and activity data. I don’t know how valuable that is to Google, but it’s a flag Google can wave in the face of congressional members who prefer to dismember the search engine giant.
This isn’t a bad idea, of course, but obscure settings do not a big fat red Delete button make. Jacob Siegal explains:
Google started rolling out auto-delete controls for location history and activity data on iOS and Android devices this week.
Just in time to suck some air out of government regulators, right?
It isn’t quite as robust a tool as some of the privacy controls that Google has introduced in recent years, but a little more control is better than none at all.
Just enough to get the feds off Google’s tail which is attached to a target.
OK, that sounds worthy– on the surface, and to the uninitiated into how devious the likes of Google and Facebook can be– but the Devil is in the details.
Google never makes anything easy that must be worthwhile to users.
If you head to the activity controls hub on Google’s website, you can tap the blue “Manage Activity” button below “Web & App Activity” as well as “Location History” to find a new option labeled “Choose to delete automatically.” Tap on that, and you’ll be given the choice to either keep data until you delete it manually, or keep it for either 3 or 18 months before it automatically deletes.
Put in simpler terms, the process and location of what should be a big red button is obscure. Worse, Google still gets to have access to three or 18 months of your personal and private information.
With a few billion users, what percent are likely to track down Google’s helpful links to make data more obscure?
You? Me? It won’t be a long list because Google has so many users to track that giving up on a few million means diddly squat.
While the auto-delete controls aren’t as full-featured as some users might prefer them to be, having the ability to set a timer and not worry about whether or not your location history and web activity data is going to be floating around the internet forever is a welcome addition.
That is anemic joy-speak for “It won’t really matter. Move along. Nothing to see here.”
Too many steps. What the hell is wrong with a big red button? Too easy.