Google Is Tracking Your Location-Even Without Your Permission, Report Says

Even with Location History paused some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking

Even with Location History paused some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking

To illustrate how much of a peek into your daily life Google's tracking can provide, the AP created a visual map of the movements of Princeton researcher Gunes Acar.

Google services on mobile devices are tracking and storing user location data even if your privacy settings forbid it, according to an investigative report published by the Associated Press. "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".

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 report indicates that there are still some Google apps that will continue to track your location, simply due to the way they function. While Google has become a bit more transparent about tracking in recent years, the AP's study discovered there's still a lot going on that users aren't aware of. Google's support documents claim that says "With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored"; however, computer science researchers at Princeton found that was not true.

Overall, it seems that the primary location-gathering aspect related to "Web & App History" comes from Google searches.

In fact according to the AP, "Google offers a more accurate description of how Location History actually works in a place you'd only see if you turn it off - a popup that appears when you "pause" Location History on your Google account webpage".

Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app.

So if you want to turn off location, you need to go Web and App Activity.

You may be asked to sign in to your Google Account. 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.

If that bothers you, now you can opt out - for real. Instead, it just tells you why that's a bad idea: "Pausing additional Web & App Activity may limit or disable more personalized experiences across Google services".

Credit: Marshall Honorof/Tom's GuideWeb & App Activity will be the first option you see. You're good to go.

On the Data & personalization tab, scroll down to activity controls. "For example, you may stop seeing helpful recommendations based on the apps and sites you use". At a Google Marketing Live summit in July, Google executives unveiled a new tool called "local campaigns" that dynamically uses ads to boost in-person store visits. This information is stored under "My Activity". "To me, it's something people should know", he said.

Latest News