Google location tracker is tough dodge

News by Doug Olenick

Google wants US Supreme Court to rule on Street View privacy case

An Associated Press report found Google continues to track a user's location even when that person attempts to turn off the various location services provided through the Android operating system and its apps.

The AP reported apps like Google Maps require a person's location to function, and notes the app does ask for permission to track an individual using a function called Location History. This app tracks every place a person has been and then displays it on a map in timeline fashion. While this tracking can be turned off, AP found Google used verbal gymnastics to inform its users they were no longer being tracked, while still keeping tabs on their location.

This can be best seen when one turns off Location History. The AP found the pop up that appears when this action is taken states "some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other Google services, like Search and Maps." However, what Google does stop doing is storing the data in the Location History so it no longer shows up on the timeline.

The story said Google takes and stores a snapshot of where a use is whenever Google Maps is even opened. Other apps, like those delivering the weather also have geolocation capabilities. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones also gives and stores a location.

For its part Google told the AP it makes clear what it collects and offers options to fully opt out of being tracked, which the AP confirmed, adding doing so was neither simple or quick.

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