Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Google Maps Is Killing Timeline for Web

Emma Roth:

Google Maps is changing the way it handles your location data. Instead of backing up your data to the cloud, Google will soon store it locally on your device.

In an email sent to users, Google says you have until December 1st to save all your travels to your mobile device before it starts deleting your old data. Timeline — previously known as Location History — is the feature that tracks your routes and trips based on your phone’s location, allowing you to revisit all the places you’ve been in the past.

But now, instead of tying all of this information to your Google account, the company will link it to the devices you use.

Mahmoud Itani (via Hacker News):

Through a dedicated button on the updated app, you’ll then be able to migrate your existing location history to the on-device database. If you take no action and miss the deadline, Google could purge some or all of your location history when it sunsets Timeline’s web access.

To help users retain their data in the long run, Google Maps has also introduced a new backup feature for Timeline. Users can rely on it to save encrypted copies of their location history on Google’s servers. They can then restore these backups in the Google Maps app when they switch to a new phone.

Pieter Arntz:

As I pointed out years ago, Location History allowed me to “spy” on my wife’s whereabouts without having to install anything on her phone. After some digging, I learned that my Google account was added to my wife’s phone’s accounts when I logged in on the Play Store on her phone. The extra account this created on her phone was not removed when I logged out after noticing the tracking issue.

That issue should be solved by implementing this new policy. (Let’s remember, though, that this is an issue that Google formerly considered a feature rather than a problem.)

Previously:

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Google will delete all my location data from their servers? Seems like a great new feature.

Wow, I'm shocked that Google is doing something good for user privacy. It's a rare victory and positive step. Love to see it

I hardly ever use this feature, and when I do it's almos always as entertainment. The one exception is when I saw some weird transaction on my credit card and I could check where I was three weeks ago.

But I could have looked in my photos album for that.

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