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Google Keeps an Eye on You Every Time, Even if You Turn Off Location History

Bipasha Mandal
Bipasha Mandal
Bipasha Mondal is writer at TechGenyz

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Going off the grid with Google, turns out, is not that easy. According to an Associated Press investigation, Google services whether you are on Android device or on iPhone, track and store the location data even if the user had turned off the location history in privacy settings. Google apps store, the time-stamped location data and Google uses the same location data to target ads based on users’ specific locations.

Turning off the Google location history does not mean that it completely turns off the tracking system. It just removes the location from Google Maps Timeline feature which basically shows where the user has been in Google’s data. However, stopping Google from tracking a phone may be possible. In that case, the user needs to turn off web and app activity tracking and delete the location data in the Google account at myactivity.google.com.

Every tech company there has been under immense scrutiny and scandals related to data privacy especially after the Facebook blunder. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce last month sent a pair of letters to Apple and Alphabet inquiring about their privacy policy.

Location History is a Google product that is entirely opt in, and users have the controls to edit, delete, or turn it off at any time. As the story notes, we make sure Location History users know that when they disable the product, we continue to use location to improve the Google experience when they do things like perform a Google search or use Google for driving directions. – Google spokesperson

He has also added, “There are a number of different ways that Google may use location to improve people’s experience, including Location History, Web and App Activity, and through device-level Location Services. 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.”


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