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Google introduces new tools to protect search histories on iOS

Google on Thursday announced a pair of new tools for its flagship iOS app that adds an extra layer of protection to saved search histories and allows users to quickly delete recent search data with the tap of a button.

Announced in a blog post, the new search history protection feature restricts access to My Activity in the Google app. That section stores a user's search history, or what Google calls "Web & App Activity."

When the setting is enabled, additional information like an account password or two-factor authentication is needed to view search history data. Google is positioning the feature as a good privacy practice for those who share their device with others.

A second tool, dubbed "quick delete," lets users to wipe the last 15 minutes of their search history by tapping on a dedicated button in the Account Menu. The feature, first announced at Google I/O in May, is available now on iOS and will debut on Android later this year.

The post also mentions Privacy Checkup and Security Checkup, tools that allow users to see what third-party apps and services have access to account information.

Google is pushing its new privacy features after the company failed to update a variety of iOS apps for months in what appears to have been an attempt to skirt Apple's mandated App Store privacy disclosures. The search giant held off on updating major titles including Gmail, YouTube and Google Drive following Apple's launch of privacy "nutrition labels" in late 2020.

After taking nearly half a year to adhere to Apple's rules, Google in May announced a similar informational section would be coming to the Play Store in 2022.

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