Facebook landed in hot water for tracking non-users across the web, now it’s Google’s turn to take some heat, according to this report.
A troubling Associated Press investigation found that a host of Google services installed on Android devices and iPhones is capable of storing your location data, even if you use non-track request or turn location off.
Ready to start taking privacy more seriously? Here is what AP found:
Google says that will prevent the company from remembering where you’ve been. Google’s support page on the subject states: “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”
That isn’t true. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking. (It’s possible, although laborious, to delete it .)
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. 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.
So far, other than giving up technology completely, the only thing you can do to stop Google from tracking you is to turn off location whenever possible and tinker with the “Web and App Activity”. When you turn off location you simply tell Google not to add your location activity to your timeline but the “Web and App Activity”, which is enabled by default, controls what Google actually stores about you.
To see your settings, head over to myactivity.google.com and fiddle with the settings until you’re satisfied with your level of privacy.