On the Google My Activity page, one of the very first controls shown is Web & App Activity. Google will soon break up that setting with a new “Workspace search history” preference.
Update 5/19: After being delayed earlier this year, the Google Workspace search history setting is now rolling out from June 14 onwards. In a change from Google’s original plans, users that already have Web & App Activity turned off will also see Google Workspace search history disabled by default. Otherwise, it will be on for new users, except Workspace for Education accounts under 18.
Google says this preference is meant to make it “easier to understand search history” so that Workspace productivity apps are not bundled in with other first-party services.
“This is a positive evolution toward a simplified, easier to understand search history setting, giving our users more choice and control over their search experience in Google Workspace. The new setting will be available to consumer and enterprise users, and they will have full control over opting in or out.”
Meanwhile, the Workspace search history setting will be visible to both consumer and enterprise users. Once live, go to My Activity > Other Google activity (in the sidebar) > Google Workspace search history to control.
Original 2/2: At the moment, Web & App Activity “saves your activity on Google sites and apps, including associated info like location, to give you faster searches, better recommendations, and more personalized experiences in Maps, Search, and other Google services.”
In the near future, it will no longer encompass all Google services. Search data from Workspace apps will be governed by a new setting:
When [Google Workspace search history is] enabled, as you type search text, you see suggestions from your search history. You can easily rerun previous searches.
This will include data from Gmail, Google Drive, Calendar, and Currents, as well as visits to Workspace websites such as Google Cloud and Google Sites. Google notes that more Workspace services “are to be added” in the future. Like the other settings, Workspace search activity is automatically deleted after 18 months, but it can also be set to three or 36 months. The company reiterates that it “never uses your data in Google Workspace core services for advertising.”
Once live, Google Workspace search history will be on
by default but can be disabled from the My Activity page > Other Google activity > Google Workspace search history. The new setting starts rolling out on March 29. Admins will not be able to set this preference, only end users.
Meanwhile, Web & App Activity is changing so that it “only collects searches for additional Google services” that are outside of the Workspace suite. More details are available in this help article.
More on Google Workspace:
- Google Workspace branding comes to Gmail for web, iOS [Update: Android]
- Meet calls hosted by premium Workspace tiers now support up to 500 participants
- Docs rolling out file review & approval system to Workspace tiers
- Android Work Profiles will soon be available with Google Workspace on unmanaged phones
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