Google is watching you all the time. Even as you read this, it knows where you exactly are, even if you are using a privacy setting.
Yes, Google tracks our location everytime even when we haven’t told it to do so. In what seems to be a complete violation of privacy rights, it is found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.
It turns out that while the company asks permission for users to share location information on its applications, it doesn’t halt tracking services when users pause Location History. Google Maps, for instance, grabs information when a user so much as opens the app. And don’t forget the automatic daily weather updates on Android phones that reportedly gives an approximation of user location.
According to Google’s privacy page, You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored. However, Computer-science researchers at Princeton University confirmed the Associated Press that even pausing the Location History, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without permission, Bloomberg Quint reported.
If you are wondering how the hell does it matter if the search engine tracks our location, allow us to inform you that the search-engine giant derives the significant amount of revenue through advertising, which is bolstered by user-generated data providing information useful to advertisers such as metrics on foot traffic.
However, there is a loophole in almost every process. Here are some ways to effectively stop Google from tracking you:
- Go to myactivity.google.com. On the upper left drop-down menu, go to Activity Control and turn off Web & App activity. That should prevent precise location markers from being stored to your Google account.
- Android users should go to main settings icon, click on Security & location, scroll down to Privacy heading and tap Location. You can toggle it off for the entire device.
- For iOS, it is much simpler. Just adjust your location setting to While Using the App. This will prevent the app from accessing your location when it’s not active. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and from there select Google Maps to make the adjustment.
Stay conscious, stay safe. As the saying goes, if you are not paying for it, then may be you are the product.