Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicked off this year’s Google I/O by saying that Google wants to do more to stay ahead of “constantly evolving user expectations” on privacy.
With an aim to give people more control over how they are being tracked on the go or in their own home, Google announced new privacy tools at its annual developer's conference in San Francisco.
Google is extending “incognito mode” to Google Maps and search apps. Once activated, Google Maps or Search won’t record user searches or movements. The feature already exists in Google Chrome browser and YouTube.
“When you turn on Incognito mode in Maps, your activity—like the places you search or get directions to—won’t be saved to your Google Account,” Google said.
Incognito Mode is coming soon to Google Maps. Once Google rolls it out for you, this is how you can turn it on or off inside the app:
Once you turn it on, Google can’t track your Maps activity and serve you targeted ads based on your browsing or search history. Of late, tech companies have come under intense scrutiny over their data collection practices.
Some critics say Google’s privacy updates sidestep more substantial changes that could threaten its ad-driven business model.
“They’re sort of marginal improvements,” said Jeremy Tillman, president of Ghostery, which provides ad-blocking and anti-tracking software.
“They are not bad, but they almost seem like they’re designed to give the company a better messaging push instead of making wholesale improvements to user privacy.”
(With agency inputs)