Google Maps Unveils a Pro-Privacy ‘Incognito Mode’ to Keep Users Off-the-Grid

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It’s only two days into Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and Google isn’t wasting any time adding new privacy protections for it users. The search giant announced several new features Tuesday, including expanding its Incognito Mode to its popular Google Maps app, adding auto-delete to YouTube history, and letting users delete their audio recordings from Google Assistant.

The new privacy features are part of an ongoing process by Google to better protect its users’ data. Incognito Mode is popular with users of its Chrome web browser, and YouTube’s newly released ability to auto-delete history is already available on other Google-owned apps and services. The new feature rollout is also a reaction to increasing backlash against tech companies like Google and Facebook that monetize user data.

“As technology evolves, so do people’s expectations for security and privacy,” Eric Miraglia, Google’s director of product management for privacy and data protection, said in a statement. “We look forward to building protections that aim to exceed those expectations, and will continue sharing regular updates about this work.”

Even with new privacy features, changes, users aren’t completely protected. Launching Incognito Mode in the Maps app triggers a message that says, “Turning on Incognito Mode in Maps does not affect how your activity is used or saved by internet providers, other apps, voice search, and other Google services.” Also, the off-the-grid mode is only available on Android beginning in October, though Google says the feature will be available on its iOS app soon.

Beyond these changes, Google added a new password management tool that informs users if their passwords have been compromised. The search giant also recently made it clearer whether Google Assistant users want to opt in to having their audio transcribed for quality improvement uses.

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