PSA: Even with Location History off, Google will still track your location

GPS Location Navigation Icon

  • A record states that Google will track a consumer’s location even if the corporate’s “Location History” function is became off.
  • The seek large assists in keeping track of circumstances the place apps and internet sites request the consumer’s location throughout the Web and App Activity function.
  • The monitoring may also be disabled via Google’s MyActivity settings menu.

Back in January, many have been shocked by means of the volume of location information Google collects on a per-user foundation. Privacy-conscious customers may just choose to show off Google’s “Location History” function, believing it could totally prevent Google from monitoring their location. But it’s now not so simple as flipping the Location History transfer within the settings. According to a record from the Associated Press, Google is still tracking and saving customers’ places each time a website online or app related with the individual’s Google account requests the consumer’s location.

A just right choice of apps and internet sites depend on Google’s products and services to offer a greater revel in for customers. So as an example, what finally ends up taking place is that anytime any person visits Google Maps or has a climate widget routinely display the temperature for his or her location, Google locates the consumer after which assists in keeping track of that request. This is completed via a function known as Web and App Activity, which is become independent from Location History. In flip, which means in spite of Location History being disabled, Google is still holding track of the consumer’s location when Web and App Activity is enabled.

Google Web & App Activity Feature

The description of the Web and App Activity function doesn’t point out location monitoring in any respect.

A Google spokesperson gave AP the next commentary:

There are numerous other ways in which Google might use location to enhance other folks’s revel in, together with: Location History, Web and App Activity, and thru device-level Location Service. We supply transparent descriptions of those gear, and powerful controls so other folks can flip them on or off, and delete their histories at any time.

This location monitoring isn’t simply an Android drawback both, because it’s affecting iOS customers and the ones scrolling throughout the web on a internet browser. As lengthy as there’s a Google account related with the consumer and Web and App Activity is became on, the location information will be added to their job log.

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While Google does let customers disable its Location History monitoring function, it still wishes to understand the place customers are to offer them with the most efficient revel in imaginable. If anything else, it could be a just right factor that Google is still reporting the consumer’s location in those circumstances — that approach there’s a degree of transparency.

google location history description

Google doesn’t warn customers that location monitoring might proceed once they disable Location History

The drawback is customers could be beneath the affect that they are able to flip off all location monitoring just by turning Location History off, which isn’t the case. On Android gadgets, while you flip off Location History, the pop-up message doesn’t point out the truth that some location information will proceed to be accrued throughout the Web and App Activity function. And in case you cross to Web and App Activity (which is on by means of default), the function description doesn’t point out location monitoring both, which will lead you to consider that it has no concerning location monitoring in any respect.

Google does explicitly say that it collects location information while you toggle Web and App Activity again on, however maximum customers received’t see that message for the reason that atmosphere is on by means of default.

google web and apps activity description

This display is the one position Google we could customers learn about location monitoring in Web and App Activity

To summarize, Google tracks your location when Web and App Activity is enabled, and it’s now not being in advance about it.

If you’re towards Google monitoring your location, head to myaccount.google.com, make a choice the vertical ellipsis menu button, and select Activity controls. Here, the primary two choices will be Web and App Activity and Location History. Toggling either one of those off will have to prevent the hunt large from holding tabs on the place you’ve been.

You too can disable Location History and Web and App Activity from the settings phase of your telephone. Go to Settings>Google>Google Account>Data and Personalization>Activity Controls to take action.

Just needless to say disabling Web and App Activity will additionally seriously change your revel in inside Google’s products and services. Not best will your seek historical past now not be stored, however sensible suggestions and recommendations will now not be to be had. Services like Google Assistant, which want numerous information about you with a view to paintings, will additionally change into a lot much less helpful.

If you wish to have to stay Web and App Activity on, however now not proportion your location information with Google, you’ll manually delete saved location data, however you’ll need to spend numerous time discovering it and deleting it manually.

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