Google Still Tracks Your Location With Location History Setting Off

Google is Watching

According to a report done by the Associated Press, Google services tracks and records your movements despite setting the “Location History” feature off. While Google uses location data to improve its apps’ services such as Google Maps navigation or relevant searches, some users to opt out of Google’s location tracking due to privacy concerns. With the help of computer scientist from Princeton University, AP confirmed that Google apps take timestamped location snapshot, even with Location History turned off.

While turning Location History off will stop Google from logging your movements into a timeline, using specific Google services will still timestamp your location. Just opening the Google Maps app, using weather services, or performing a search will result in your position being logged and stored. To disable these location timestamps one must turn off the “Web & App Activity” setting that saves information, one of them being location, used by Google services.

Technically speaking you can disable settings that log your location. The problem stems from the ambiguity when it comes to these permissions. When you set Location History to off, it stops your device from saving location information within the Location History feature. However, it will still log your location whenever the system uses Web & App Activity since that serves a different function than Location History. The wording with these settings should be made more clear to avoid misleading users when it comes to their privacy settings.

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  1. […] we reported how Google tracked your location data even when the Location History feature turned off. Well, it turns out some people did not take […]

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