Google tracks your actions even when location providers are disabled
Many of us flip off location providers on our smartphones in order that we are able to keep away from being tracked. But what if you happen to get to know that despite taking this precaution, Google tracks you all over the place.
According to an Associated Press report released Monday, Google providers is storing customers’ location knowledge on Android gadgets and iPhones even you probably have privateness settings explicitly set to not do it. These findings had been confirmed by computer-science researchers at Princeton on AP’s request.
In reality, Google’s personal help web page encourages person autonomy to determine what data to share. “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored,” reads the corporate’s privacy page. However, even with Location History turned off, some Google apps robotically retailer time-stamped location knowledge with out permission, the AP discovered.
For occasion, each time you utilize an app like Google Maps for navigating, the corporate asks permission to entry your location data on its app. However, this isn’t true, as AP discovered that Google tracks your location even when you’ve paused “Location History” in your cellular gadgets.
“For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are,” the AP explains.
“And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like “chocolate chip cookies,” or “kids science kits,” pinpoint your exact latitude and longitude—correct to the sq. foot—and put it aside to your Google account.”
In order to utterly flip off location monitoring, customers should modify settings in “web and app activity,” and never solely “location services.” For these unaware, “web and app activity” is a setting that’s enabled by default and shops a wide range of data from Google apps and websites to your Google account. Despite turning off “web and app activity” and “location services”, it’s nonetheless tough to keep away from the telephone from recording customers’ places, in response to the report.
Google Admits Tracking Users’ Location
Google issued the next assertion in response to AP’s investigation:
“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.”
However, Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton laptop scientist and former chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission’s enforcement bureau argued that storing location knowledge in violation of a person’s preferences is flawed.
“If you’re going to allow users to turn off something called ‘Location History,’ then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off. That seems like a pretty straightforward position to have,” Mayer stated.
Here’s How You Can Stop Google From Tracking Your Location
If you want to cease Google from saving time-stamped location markers, you’ll want to flip off “Web and App Activity.” Once disabled, it won’t solely cease Google from storing location markers but additionally cease the corporate from storing data produced by searches and different actions.
For Android Devices:
Go to the “Security & location” setting, scroll all the way down to “Privacy”, and faucet “Location.” Now, you may toggle it off for the complete gadget. If you want to disable entry to numerous apps, you should utilize “App-level permissions” to take action.
For iOS Devices:
If you utilize Google Maps, Go to Settings choose Privacy Location Services and modify your location setting to ‘While Using’ the app. This will cease the app from accessing your location when it’s inactive.
Go to myactivity.google.com in your internet browser. Choose “Activity Controls” from the higher left drop-down menu. Now, flip off each “Web & App Activity” and “Location History.” You can even delete your time-stamped location knowledge by clicking on particular geo-stamped entries. Additionally, you may also delete batches of entries sorted by date or internet service.