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Google tracks your Location History even after you’ve paused the service

by Felix Omondi
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Recently, Google CEO – Sundar Pichai – said the search engine is mulling on placing promoted content and advertisement on its popular map service; Google Maps.

Obviously for the search engine to serve you targeted ads, they need data on your location. That means, Google will have to track your movement, keep record of it, and based on that record serve you targeted ads.

If that seems like something you are not interested in, you obviously turn off location tracking features on your phone. Such as turning off GPS and cellular towers mapping feature.

Well, it now turns out, that Google can still track your location whether or not you have turned off location tracking features on your smartphone. That is according to a new report by the Associated Press (AP).

As things plays out, Google will only ask you for permission to share your location with its apps the first time you start using the applications. That is the only time they will ask that permission, and even if you turn off Location History, Google will still keep tracking your location.

The AP reports that Google Maps, for instance, can automatically grab your location information when you so much as open an app that requires your location information, such as the automatic daily weather app on Android. The weather app gives an approximate location of the user.

According to Google’s official privacy page, “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the place you go are no longer stored.”

However, a report by AP says that statement is false. Since (according to AP) when you pause Location History, Google’s apps do automatically store time-stamped location data without the user’s permission.

Location History is a Google product that is entirely opt-in, and users have the controls to edit, delete, or turn it off at any time. As the story notes, we make sure  Location History users know that when they disable the product, we continue to use location to improve the Google experience when they do things like perform a Google search or use Google for driving directions,” said Google in a response to Bloomberg


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