Google Is Tracking You, Like It Or Not

Google tracks your movements even if you’ve turned location history off

The Associated Press quotes Google's support pages as saying: "You can turn off Location History at any time.

The AP, along with Princeton University researchers, found that Google services such as Google Maps and the Google search engine record Android and iPhone users locations without their permission.

The privacy issue affects some two billion users of devices that run Google's Android operating software and hundreds of millions of worldwide iPhone users who rely on Google for maps or search.

Such data can be very private indeed - with location history normally stored as a "timeline" showing where a user goes, minute by minute.

If you do consent to your location being mapped, Google will create a "timeline" of your daily movements.

The report indicates that there are still some Google apps that will continue to track your location, simply due to the way they function. She'd noticed a prompt on her Android phone asking her to rate a trip to Kohl's, even though her location history was turned off. When you search in Google for innocuous topics, like "kids science kits", Google can accurately determine your location up to a square foot of space, according to the report.

'We provide clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time'.


Turns out, in order for Google to stop saving location markers full-stop, users must turn off another setting called "Web and App Activity".

In order to prevent Google's location tracking, users need to disable the opaquely-named "Web and App Activity" setting - but even this is not a flawless solution.

Users can delete stored location markers by hand, but each one has to be selected and deleted individually - unless you want to delete all of your stored activity - making it a time-consuming process. If you want to stop Google from tracking you nearly completely (for reasons I will explain below, you may not be able to stop every single instance of this), follow the two-step process below. You need to go into your settings and find "Web & App Activity" and shut off tracking there.

"I am not opposed to background location tracking in principle", she said. That popup states that, when active, the setting 'saves the things you do on Google sites, apps, and services ... and associated information, like location'.

In January 2018 it became known that the Location Service was saving a lot of data not related to the location such as the type of movement, Mac addresses, or battery charge levels.

Mashable was also provided with this link on Google's location data policy. "More data for them presumably means more profit". "View Google settings on your Android device to change this setting". You're good to go. Ad buyers can target ads to specific locations - say, a mile radius around a particular landmark - and typically have to pay more to reach this narrower audience. This information is stored under "My Activity".

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