We told users we track them - Google

19 Agosto, 2018, 19:45 | Author: Misty Newman
  • Google Web & App Activity Feature

While most would assume user location would be limited to the Location History setting, the investigation found that in order to truly prevent Google from tracking time and place you also have to disable "Web and App Activity". Another researcher confirmed the findings on multiple Android devices. It does not help to know that big league companies like Google can misuse their users' information. If a user agrees to let Google Maps record their location, the app will outline their location history in a timeline, said Nakashima. Deleting location markers is possible, but only on an individual basis or by wiping the entire data set, with no middle ground of selecting a group to remove. 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.

The issue has wide repercussions as the privacy risks aren't exclusive to devices powered by Google's mobile system Android.

AP found that Google continues to track you through services like Google Maps, weather updates, and browser searches - any app activity can be used to track you.

"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". Google maintains that the feature is important to keep improving the user experience. While searching online isn't directly linked to tracking, it can be used to determine your location and save it to your Google account.

Some phone apps simply can't work if they don't know your location. As part of the Web and App activities, Google usually collects your location data when you open the Maps app or even perform regular searches on Google that don't even require your current location.

- Now go to Google Data and personalisation Web and App Activity. In addition, the site settings for "site registration", "site history", "site access" and "web and app activities" are widely diversified.

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We've reached out to Google to ask why user control over location tracking is spread out across multiple options and whether it has recently changed any of its explanations for users. The Web & App Activity option will appear, which users should deactivate.

There is still a way to hide your location completely from Google.

Google's official description of location history claims that when the feature is turned off, "the places you go to are no longer stored".

While Location History is disabled by default, the United States news group CNBC says that web tracking and location data storage are enabled automatically.

Ironically, this type of "timeline" is exactly what what Google says users can disable by pausing Location History. Unfortunately, most people aren't looking for it, and they shouldn't have to.

While it may not reference location, it's a setting, enabled by default, that stores certain information from any given app.

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