Google Maps is not just monitoring you, a program named Google Sensorvault is possibly revealing your location data to law enforcement, as per a recent report from The New York Times. Lets highlight how you can make it harder for Google and how you can, at least, not reveal the most detailed data.
Bear in mind that a 2018 Associated Press investigation revealed that even when you manually turn off Google Location History, Google Maps and other applications might retain data on your location at times.
Google is still saying these location-monitoring features are focused on boosting your experience. But that explanation does not tally with the definition of “Off” according to Princeton computer scientist Jonathan Mayer.
His words, “If you’re going to allow users to turn off something called ‘Location History,’ then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off.”
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Its true, even with Location History disabled in your Google account settings, AP found out that, searching for anything in your browser, checking automatic weather updates and launching Google Maps still records your location. And researchers have been able to verify these claims.
If you intend to completely deactivate location tracking (which, be aware, will restrict specific apps’ location-driven capabilities), you have to turn off another setting named Web & App Activity.
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For Android: Head to Settings, click Google > Google Account > Data & personalization. Now click Web & App Activity and toggle off.
For Desktop And iOS: Open Google in a new tab, have yourself signed into your account if that has not happened already, tap your profile pic seen in the upper-right corner and then tap Google Account. Now tap Personal info & privacy > My Activity, then tap Activity controls. Tap the Web & App Activity and toggle off. As that is being done, ensure Location History is toggled off too.
If you are not involved in a murder investigation, Google’s location monitoring cannot make sense. If it bothers you, like it concerns me, this is your opportunity to opt out for good.