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Google collects your location even if you turn the feature off

Google is known for its somewhat murky practices when it comes to the handling of user information and a recent investigation by Associated Press came to thicken the polemic broth even more. The agency worked with Princeton University researchers to detect whether the Mountain View giant did in fact stop tracking its movements once the feature was turned off. location history and came to the conclusion that good, no!

Rather, a brief preamble: at this point, everyone should already know Google's location history feature, which literally records all your movement on planet Earth (or that of your smartphone, at least) which has triggered reactions since ? cool, i'll be able to retrace my steps on such a day ?until? this is the scariest thing i've ever seen in my life ?.

Google Maps

In terms of Google's service, the company clearly says that by turning off the location history, your location data will no longer be stored theoretically, it will be captured only at that moment, as to indicate a route on Google Maps, and immediately discarded . However, this statement does not seem to be exactly reflected in reality, AP.

Gunnar Acar, a Princeton researcher, turned off the location history feature and noticed that his location data was still being stored by the company, for example, every time he opened Google Maps, a snapshot from its geographical position it was stored. Even some searches on the company's search service are linked to its location even things that, at first glance, have absolutely nothing to do with it, such as the search for a cookie recipe.

Asked about the phenomenon, Google replied:

There are a few different ways that Google can use location to improve the user experience, including: location history, web and app activity, or through device-level location services. We offer clear descriptions of these tools and robust controls so that people can leave them on or off, or erase their history at any time.

As positive as the company is to confirm the behavior, it does not alter the fact that there is information in its terms that is misleading: no, Google will not stop storing its geographic data if you simply turn off the location history. If you want to be anonymous of the locations before the company, you should also turn off the ?activity on the web and apps? and customize the preferences of your smartphone, be it Android or iOS, to prevent the capture of location information.

This page of Google brings these and other options related to your account, in case you want to take a look at everything and turn off what is not of interest to you, always remembering that this can interfere with the usefulness of the company's services. it's all about balance, after all.

via Cult of Mac