Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Google Tracks Your Movements, Like It or Not

Ryan Nakashima (Hacker News):

Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking. (It’s possible, although laborious, to delete it .)

For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are. And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like “chocolate chip cookies,” or “kids science kits,” pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude — accurate to the square foot — and save it to your Google account.

Josh Centers:

If you’re perturbed by all this, you can disable both Location History and Web & App Activity, but doing so prevents Google from storing search history, potentially making searches and other Google tools less useful. You can also delete your previous location history and search activity. iOS users have another way to avoid sharing such data with Google. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, where you can fine tune when particular Google apps are allowed to access your location.

John Gruber:

The saga of Apple Maps’s launch is long and complicated, but Google’s desire to track our location was at the heart of it.

Update (2018-09-26): Jonathan Mayer (via Hacker News):

Lame: if you want to save a home or work address in Google Maps, you now have to allow activity tracking throughout Google services.

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