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Google Tracks Android, iPhone Users Even With ‘Location History’ Turned Off

August 14, 2018

By: Mohit Kumar

Google tracks you everywhere, even if you explicitly tell it not to.

Every time a service like Google Maps wants to use your location, Google asks your permission to allow access to your location if you want to use it for navigating, but a new investigation shows that the company does track you anyway.

An investigation by Associated Press revealed that many Google services on Android and iPhone devices store records of your location data even when you have paused “Location History” on your mobile devices.

Disabling “Location History” in the privacy settings of Google applications should prevent Google from keeping track of your every movement, as its own support page states: “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”

However, AP found that even with Location History turned off, some Google apps automatically store “time-stamped location data” on users without asking them, eventually misleading its claim.

“For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are,” the AP explains.

 

“And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like “chocolate chip cookies,” or “kids science kits,” pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude—accurate to the square foot—and save it to your Google account.”

To demonstrate the threat of this Google’s practice, the AP created a visual map of the movements of Princeton postdoctoral researcher Gunes Acar, who carried an Android smartphone with ‘Location History’ switched off to prevent location data collection.

More: https://thehackernews.com/2018/08/google-mobile-location-tracking.html

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