The need for data privacy on the Internet has never been so in demand as conversations about it dramatically increased over recent years mainly rooting from Facebook’s controversies. As a matter of fact, Google has its own fair share of sketchy mishaps that includes controversial government contracts and Chinese deals.
However, unlike Facebook, Google has shown to have taken the issue seriously and have been actively addressing the issue and securing the idea of private Internet consumption beginning with the incognito mode on Google Chrome. Over the past decade, Google has made the effort to materialize the idea unlike Facebook’s consistent loud promises and announcements that hardly ever reach people’s grasp.
Especially in a time where Google is under fire regarding issues with the inappropriate workplace environment, mistreatment, and discrimination to name a few, hearing and seeing how Google plans to go forward with a more secure and safe online environment is a great way to bring back people’s trust.
One of many steps Google is planning to address security concerns is through Android Q, which is an upcoming software update for all Android devices. Through that software, Google will be able to deliver faster security update through the Play Store, which is virtually present in all Android devices except the ones in China. Google calls it ‘Project Mainline.’
As of the moment, security updates are prolonged due to the waiting time between Android and manufacturers like Samsung and LG to ship them out. By directly handling the updates in the Play Store, Google will be able to cut down that waiting time.
Google won’t be able to perform all updates through Project Mainline. For starters, there 12 ‘modules’ that they are capable of updating. By breaking them down into smaller and more easier versions, Google can patch small bugs or potential major flaws quicker than it did before.
The second thing Google is planning to incorporate in its set of security features is the feature that allows you to auto-delete app-activity, location, and web location information.
Believe it or not, Google stores a lot of data regarding your activity under its software. This allows Google to give you personalized recommendations and ‘guess’ your preferred actions while using their software. However, manually deleting these data in the past would result in less personal experience.
In the future, Google will give you two options when deciding to auto-delete your personal data: 3 months or 18 months. With his, any data stored in their servers older than the opted duration would be deleted. Fortunately, this won’t make your user experience completely abandoned and unknown but it will, in fact, be a less but it will limit Google from accessing information in return.
The third feature that Google’s integrating into its cybersecurity procedure is the ability of their AI tech to process data locally. This can be seen in new forms like the Google Nest Hub Max and the Google Assistant. Basically, Google’s AI can now process ambient information without the need to deliver them to servers or the cloud for processing.
Local AI processing means that Google won’t b able to have complete access to any data or information that you will be inputting such as facial recognition in the Nest Hub Max or location services with the Google Assistant.
On the topic of location services, Google Maps will also be integrating an incognito feature along with Search. By using incognito mode, any information used under these platforms will not attribute it to a specific user, making the data stored in Google’s servers basically as nobody. This feature is currently available on YouTube and would be available in Google Maps and Search later in the year.
Lastly, Google is planning to bank on an almost private web browsing experience with the new features they are planning to incorporate with Google Chrome.
Right now, web browsers are riddled with cookies that allow users to experience an easier browsing experience but it also exposes users to a lot of negative experiences too.
Specifically, cookies are used to store some of your data into a specific website and cookies are also left when you move from one website to another. This helps to keep you logged on a specific website or remember your preferences whenever you decide to come back. For some users, they would like to choose to opt out of that conveniences to help keep personal data away from said websites.
In relation, cookies are also used by websites to target ads by using your information and also makes you vulnerable to online hackers that try to tap into these cookies.
As a solution, Google is deciding to implement a new set of features that will allow you to access websites without the need to allow leaving cookies when you visit them. At the moment, it’s hard to identify cookies that determine a user’s log-in and set of preferences from third-party cookies that exploit your personal information.
Google has promised to find a way through these concerns to deliver a safer and more secure browsing experience in the future.