A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times had a piece about how police are using a Google database called “Sensorvault” to track and find witnesses and suspects. Now, Google is going to offer better control of your location and web data.
Up until this point, you had two choices: disable location tracking altogether, or deal with your data being stored in Sensorvault. But soon, Google is going to offer another choice with a new auto-delete option for location history and activity data.
The feature isn’t available yet (it will be rolling out “in the coming weeks”), but it looks like it’s going to be a pretty simple setup process. Once available, you’ll need to access your Google Account Activity Controls, where there will be a new activity option to “Choose to delete automatically.”
The auto-delete schedule will offer two options: 3 or 18 months. That means you can allow your data to be stored for as little as three months if you’d like—which should be long enough to glean any benefit that location history offers—or as long as 18 months if that makes more sense. And of course, there will still be options to either disable this sort of history altogether or never auto-delete it. But it’s nice that it will no longer be all or nothing. [Google Blog]
In other news, Epic is buying Rocket League creator Psyonix, Netflix is getting better sound, a 10-year old story about how YouTube killed IE6, and more.
- Epic is buying Psyonix: Epic scooped up the game firm behind Rocket League, which raises questions about the game’s availability on Steam. It’s no secret that Epic is trying to pack its game store with exclusive titles, so there’s a chance it’ll pull the game from Steam because of that. Time will tell. [Engadget]
- Netflix is getting high-quality audio: Just like video, the new high-quality audio will dynamically change according to users’ internet speeds. It will range from 768 kbps for Dolby Atmos down to a paltry 192 kbps. [The Verge]
- How a group of YouTube devs killed IE6: Ex-YouTube Dev Chris Zacharias penned a fascinating piece about how a small group of YouTube developers collectively killed IE6. It’s a fun read that highlights the power YouTube had even a decade ago. [Chris Zacharias]
- Google’s Android Automotive finally sees the light of day: Not to be confused with Android Auto, which is a completely different product altogether, this is Google’s push to bring full Android to car infotainment systems. And it’s getting a lot of attention at I/O this year. [Android Police]
- Razer is making a toaster: Razer is a gaming hardware company. But now it’s getting into the toaster business, apparently just because fans have been asking for one. It makes no sense to me, but I love it anyway. I hope it’s a gaming toaster. [Liliputing]
- Fitbit is killing it: The company’s Q1 growth exceeded analyst expectations by a good margin, and its smartwatch sales grew 117%. Big moves. [TechCrunch]
- Some Dell laptops are susceptible to remote hijacks: A flaw in the company’s SupportAssist tool allows hackers to leverage administrative privileges on older systems. Make sure your stuff is up to date! [ZDNet]
In a bit of interesting space news, NASA is gearing up to put Neil Armstrong’s legendary spacesuit from the moon landing on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Starting on July 16th—which marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing—this is the first time the suit has been on display in 13 years. This will be a great opportunity to get eyes on an iconic piece of American history. [CNET]