Whether you're using an iPhone or Android device, the AP found that many Google services store your location data, even if you've used a privacy setting that is supposed to prevent Google from grabbing your data.
While Google's statement may be technically correct, the issue is that so numerous company's services track your location, it's virtually impossible for the user to know just how many services they need to disable to regain their privacy. The company states on its support page, that you can turn off Location History "at any time" and that, with the setting turned off, "the places you go are no longer stored". They didn't tell you that even if you follow all those steps, chances are that you have apps on your phone that turn them back on anyway and Google continues to collect and store that information.
The AP looked into the issue after K. Shankari, a graduate researcher at UC Berkeley, blogged about how her Android device had prompted her to rate a recent shopping trip to Kohl's even though her location history had been turned off.
The AP, working alongside Princeton researchers, found that services such as Google Maps and Google's search engine records users' location information without their permission. Storing your minute-by-minute travel history.
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. Note that disabling the features may result in functionality loss; some Google services may provide less-personalized results when you pause the two features. You can turn location off while browsing by going to Settings Privacy Location Services Safari Websites, and turn this to "Never". "It just really bothers me that it is not explicitly stated".
For any device: Fire up your browser and go to myactivity.google.com.
Additionally, when toggling the "Web and App Activity" setting on through your Google account, you're notified that the setting "saves the things you do on Google sites, apps, and services. and associated information, like location".
Now You: Is location-based tracking turned on or off on your devices? You're good to go.
The iPhone text is technically true if potentially misleading.
The company is pushing further into such location-aware tracking to drive ad revenue, which rose 20 percent past year to $95.4 billion. That can limit the effectiveness of the Google Assistant, the company's digital concierge. Even if reports like the AP's generate fleeting moments of outrage, we've already traded away a healthy portion of our identities and habits in order to be able to both use Google Maps and be served endless programmatic ads. But I know some of you are, so hopefully this will help.