Wednesday, December 1, 2021

CHECK YOUR PHONE Google has been tracking you on every app – here’s the setting you need to change now

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GOOGLE tracks your whereabouts.

When you use Google apps like Search or Google Maps, the US tech titan collects and stores location data through your phone’s GPS system.

It is possible to block the search giant from sniffing by jumping into your settings.

You can even ask the company to delete all of your location data to make sure your movements are not anyone but you.

Google tracks your location as part of its efforts to collect as much data as possible from its users to help target ads.

The company uses the data to “improve its location-based services”.

In practice, this means that opening the Google Maps app or using Google search on any platform will log your approximate location with a timestamp.

If you agree to record your location over time, Google Maps will show this history for you in a “timeline” that shows your daily movements.

Google’s rampant tracking affects around two billion users of devices running Google’s Android operating system software.

It also affects hundreds of millions of iPhone users worldwide who rely on Google for maps or searches.

Saving your up-to-the-minute journeys carries a privacy risk and has been used by the police to track suspects’ locations.

In most cases, Google will ask for permission to use your location information in advance.

An app like Google Maps will remind you to allow access to the location when you use it to navigate.

The Silicon Valley giant has come under fire in recent years for its invasive location tracking.

It was previously accused of recording people’s movements, even if they were specifically asked to do so through Google’s privacy settings.

According to a 2018 study by the Associated Press, the company made it easier to find and delete your location data. You just need to know where to look.

You can stop some of Google’s tracking by turning off location history in your settings – but that’s only half the battle.

If you deactivate the function, only your previous position will be removed from the Google Maps timeline function, which offers a visualization of your daily movements.

Google admits on its support page that “some location data may still be saved in other settings” even when it is switched off.

If you want to turn off location tracking entirely, you’ll have to dig a little deeper.

1. Open Google.com in your smartphone browser or desktop.

2. Sign in to your Google account by clicking the icon in the top right corner.

3. Select this icon and then Manage your Google account.

4th Select in the field Privacy & Personalization Manage your data and privacy.

5. Scroll down to Activity Controls and press Manage your activity controls.

6th In the box called Web & app activities, slide the toggle switch open the end.

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