Researchers at Princeton University, in partnership with the Associated Press, examined how Google tracks users even when they specifically opt out of location services. It also becomes onerous when Google uses the location history you don't want to share to identify your location and deliver better advertising opportunities for companies that want to target people around a particular area.
Google may track customer locations on Android and through company applications and services even if users turn off Location tracking.
AP tested Google's location tracking on an Android device that had location turned off.
The Associated Press quotes Google's support pages as saying: "You can turn off Location History at any time". However, it may be a shock to find out that even if you turn off Location History, those apps are still tracking and collecting your location information. Clicking on it will open Google Maps, which will display where you were at the time.
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AP began its inquiry into this location-tracking issue after a graduate researcher at UC Berkeley observed a notification on her Android phone asking her to rate a recent trip to Kohl's even though she had turned off Location History.
Google's apps can help you find a destination, personalize a search and even help you remember where you parked your vehicle thanks to a slew of personal data, including your location.
'We provide clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time'.
The privacy breach affects over 2 billion user devices running Google's Android operating system, and hundreds of millions of iPhone users who rely on Google Maps, according to the AP.
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The Location History feature means you are able to go back and see where you've been using Google's own Timeline feature.
So if you want to turn off location, you need to go Web and App Activity. "It just really bothers me that it is not explicitly stated". "It's enabled by default and called 'Web and App Activity".
"Don't be evil", Google once said It seems that motto has been discarded as more and more "evil" practices come to light.
See, there you go.
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Warnings when you're about to turn Location History off via Android and iPhone device settings are more hard to interpret. That's technically true. But it's still storing the location information in another repository called "My Activity". Well, it turns out Google may still be tracking your movements. This information is stored under "My Activity". In particular, neither the Google Assistant, a digital concierge, nor the Google Home smart speaker will be particularly useful. The AP created a visual map showing tracked location data from its investigation. But I know some of you are, so hopefully this will help.