Google so badly wants to know where you go, that it slyly tracks your movements even when you stringently tell it not to do so.
An Associated Press scrutiny discovered that some services on iPhone and Android were automatically recording your movements even when you turn off the “location history” setting.
At the AP’s request, computer science analysts at Princeton asserted these findings.
Mostly, Google is plain-spoken about asking permissions to access your location information. Google’s app, Google Maps, if you use it for navigation, it will send you notification prompting you to allow it to access your location. If you approve its location tracking, it will showcase that history for you in a “timeline” that records your daily movements.
Storing such minute details brings privacy perils and it has also been used by the police to locate the suspects in the past. So, now the company is providing a new feature to pause the “location history”.
Google states that it will prevent the company from storing your location or places where you have been. The support pages on the subject of Google states: “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored”, Which is a myth. Despite turning location history off, some Google apps continue to store the time-stamped location data without asking.
For instance, when you merely open its Maps App, Google stores a snapshot of where you are.
The privacy concern will affect hundreds of millions of worldwide iPhone users and 2 billion users of devices who rely on Google for maps or search and run Google’s Android operating software.
Google alleges that it is being crystal-clear.
In a statement to the AP, a Google spokesperson stated, “There are several different ways that Google may use location to improve people’s experience, including Location History, Web and App Activity, and through device-level Location Services. 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. When paused, it will prevent activity on any device from being saved to your account. But leaving “web and app activity” on and turning “location history” off only prevents Google from adding your movements to the “timeline”, its visualization of your daily travels. It does not stop Google’s collection of other location markers”
Although we can delete these location indicators by hand, it proves to be a scrupulous procedure as it requires to be individually selected, except when you want to delete your entire stored activity.
Users can check their stored locations on a page in their Google account at myactivity.google.com.
Tech-giants are continuously striving to enhance their data practices, following new data-privacy rules recently adopted by the European Union and a series of privacy scandals at Facebook. The business news site Quartz discovered that Google was stalking Android users by gathering the addresses of proximate cellphone towers despite turning off all the location services. Google changed the practice and maintained that it never recorded the data by any means.
Google’s drive to boost its advertising revenue can be one of the reasons behind tracking its user’s whereabouts, suggested the critics.
Google has let advertisers track the effectiveness of online ads at driving foot traffic, a feature that Google has said relies on user location histories since 2014.
Google verified the critic’s suggestions by disclosing that the locations that are stored in My Activity are used to target ads.
Damn Google, you creepy!