Associated Press did an in-depth investigation into Google’s location services and there came a shocking conclusion: Google always tracks your location via an iPhone or Android device, even if you explicitly have not given permission to enter your location. to give. After Google’s location facilities in US criminal cases were used to see where suspects were at a certain time, a “pause button” came up for what Google calls the Location History. That should ensure that Google does not know where you have been. But even if you do that, several Google apps will continue to store when you were true.
This happens in different ways. Every time you open Google Maps, a snapshot is made of where you are and automatic weather updates on Android devices do the same, albeit slightly less specific. But even completely random searches such as ‘chocolate chip cookies’ ensured that the location from which search was stored was stored in the Google account in question, according to the study.
It means that about two billion people with Android devices and several hundred million people with iPhones using Google maps or search have to deal with this problem. Google makes extensive use of location data for targeting ads, so it’s important for the company to share as many people as possible. This may also explain why the entire system is completely opaque and that data sharing is ‘on’ by default.
This is a different situation than the Android phones that structurally forwarded location data to Google because that data is no longer transmitted. Google also said not to use that data, and the location data that is at issue here is certainly used by the company.
Difficult to follow
If you do not think that ‘they’ know where you are you should change some settings. Pausing your location history should be via the web where you should choose ‘manage your activity’ under the heading ‘personal info & privacy’. Then you still have to go to the activity options and then you can pause your location history. But if you have done that, nothing will change on the back: Google will just keep storing your location. It is no longer shown in your location history.
If you really want nothing to go that way, you also have to pause ‘web and app activity’. That is the only way to stop the data flow to Google. Logically you have – especially if you want to make use of the tricks of Google that for example ensure that the Assistant can give you good suggestions – also disadvantage.
But would you do it, then there is nothing more to ‘my activity’, where you can see everything. You can also delete things from your activity, but that goes with one at a time, if you do not want to erase everything.
Great to follow
The researchers of Associated Press did an experiment in which someone had an Android phone with the location facilities. After being granted access (with permission) to the man’s Google account, they could flawlessly see where he had been, where he lived, and it was not difficult to create a timeline in which they could map out all day long.
For the record: there is not necessarily something wrong with that. If you think it’s great that Google knows where you’ve been and what you’ve been looking for, you do not have to do anything about this situation. The biggest issue is one of transparency: if you have a setting that is called ‘location’ and you set it to ‘off’ or ‘never’ in terms of parts, you can expect that your location will not be saved. Out means namely out, not ‘just not here.’ Google has explained how the fork is in the handle, but it would be better if the buttons did what they promised.