With all of the privacy concerns that have been raised lately, this probably comes as no surprise. However, surprising or not, it needs to be known by the public.
You would assume when it comes to your settings that you would already turned off anything that would potentially allow you to be tracked, right? Well, you might not have. Bloomberg recently posted on this topic and went over a report by the Associated Press that showed our locations are for the most part still being stored even if we have adjusted our settings to turn the features off.
Sure, you might have turned off the potential for them to share your location with other applications but even when you pause your location history Google Maps could still be grabbing your information and storing it each and every time you even open the app. It is also important to note that this report was confirmed by researchers at Princeton University.
Bloomberg reported as follows:
Google’s official message is to promote user autonomy when it comes to deciding what information to share: “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored,” according to the company’s privacy page. But the AP said that isn’t true. Even pausing the Location History, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without permission, the AP found.
“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,” the company said in a statement to Bloomberg. “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 performing a Google search or use Google for driving directions.”
It is slightly terrifying that all of the things we thought would be ‘outrageous’ to happen in the future are happening now. When smartphones first began gaining popularity many said that they would probably be used as a tracking means in the future and were reluctant to make the switch, and if you fast forward to the present, it seems that is now our reality. Big corporations know our every move and ads are being designed for us down to even the smallest detail.
To see your history and what locations have been tracked through your account click here. This will take you to the webpage that shows it all as long as you are logged into the account that is associated with your phone. Once you have done this and checked out your history, you can take the steps below to disable this feature finally and to erase your previous history.
How to Disable Tracking and Erase Your Past History:
To check whether location history is enabled on your account, go to the Google Maps Location history page and click the gear-icon button to access History settings.
You can disable or enable the service there. Disabling location history, however, does not remove your past history. If you want to erase the locations Maps has stored for the past 30 days, go back to the Location History page. The default time period shows location history for the current day, so you may not see any plots on the map. Use the pull-down menu below the calendar on the left to show your history, up to 30 days.
Image via The Higher Learning