by Jack Davis
Google can always find you.
Contrary to claims Google was making to consumers, The Associated Press reported that some Google apps “automatically store time-stamped location data without asking.”
According to the AP, when a user simply opens the Maps app, that
user’s location is stored. Asking for weather updates means that a
phone will note where the user was when the request was made.
Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist, had his lab test and verify the AP’s findings. The AP reported that whether the apps were installed on iPhones of Android phones, the results were the same. Mayer said that’s a problem.“If you’re going to allow users to turn off something called ‘Location History,’ then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off,” Mayer said. “That seems like a pretty straightforward position to have.”
The company said users are informed of what their phones are up to.
“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,” the company said in a statement, Bloomberg News reported.
.“… 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.”Google needs to know where users are, one commentator said.
“They build advertising information out of data,” said Peter Lenz, the senior geospatial analyst at Dstillery, an advertising technology company. “More data for them presumably means more profit.”
If you use Google Maps, Google is tracking you right now. Even if you turned off Location History, the search giant still tracks and stores your location. There's a way to stop it—but it takes a lot of digging. Here’s a handy step-by-step guide Here
Google also responded to the report by making a change in what it told consumers, according to a follow-up AP report
Google formerly told users that “with Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”
Google now says, “This setting does not affect other location services on your device.” It adds that “some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps.”
Google is owned by Alphabet Inc.cience