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Tired Of Google Following You? A New Google Functionality Automatically Clears Your Location Data History

A new functionality automatically clears your location data history so that Google can’t track record of their physical movements from the Maps app.

The company has introduced new controls from the search engine to auto-delete after a chose period of time.

Users can choose a time limit for how long you want your activity data to be saved, three or 18 months, and any data older than that will be deleted on an ongoing basis.

In May, the company launched the ability to delete saved information automatically after a fixed period of time.

The feature initially only covered ‘web and app activity’, but now, Google has announced that it has gone further by covering location history.

Google tracks you in a myriad of ways and saves a permanent history of everything users search for, websites visited, other app activity and use of Google services.

Web and app activity collects your searches and browsing activity in Google apps such as Chrome as well as apps that use Google Services, such as mapping.

This is used to power previous searches and make suggestions; if you turn this off, your recent searches or personalised results won’t come up.

However, turning this off doesn’t block Google from knowing which sites you visit.

‘You should always be able to manage your data in a way that works best for you – and we’re committed to giving you the best controls to make that happen,’ Google said in a statement.

Users have always been able to ‘pause’ tracking in a settings page or they can manually clear the saved information using the Delete Activity page.

But if tracking is turned off entirely, some Google products and services no longer work, while deleting activity manually can be time consuming.

According to Google, users of the iOS and Android Google apps will start to see the setting as it rolls out in the near future, although it is not yet available on the web.

However, the company does not automatically delete voice recordings on Google Assistant, although users can opt out of storing that information.

They also have the option to manually delete recordings of their voices made by the Google Assistant.

Google recently published a declaration of how committed to user privacy in the home after it emerged that owners of the popular Google Nest Cam Indoor home security camera could be spied upon in their own home.

The Nest spycam problem came to light when the gadget site Wirecutter published a report on how someone sold his Nest Cam Indoor and then discovered that he was ‘still able to access images from his old camera.’

HOW CAN YOU FIND AND DELETE WHERE GOOGLE KNOWS YOU’VE BEEN?

Even if you have ‘Location History’ off, Google often stores your precise location.

Here’s how to delete those markers and some best-effort practices that keep your location as private as possible.

But there’s no panacea, because simply connecting to the internet on any device flags an IP address that can be geographically mapped.

Smartphones also connect to cell towers, so your carrier knows your general location at all times.

To disable tracking on any device

Fire up your browser and go to myactivity.google.com. You’ll need to be logged into Google.

On the upper left drop-down menu, go to ‘Activity Controls.’ Turn off both ‘Web & App Activity’ and ‘Location History.’

That should prevent precise location markers from being stored to your Google account.

Google will warn you that some of its services won’t work as well with these settings off.

In particular, neither the Google Assistant, a digital concierge, nor the Google Home smart speaker will be particularly useful.

On iOS

If you use Google Maps, adjust your location setting to ‘While Using’ the app. This will prevent the app from accessing your location when it’s not active.

Go to Settings Privacy Location Services and from there select Google Maps to make the adjustment.

In the Safari web browser, consider using a search engine other than Google.

Under Settings Safari Search Engine, you can find other options like Bing or DuckDuckGo.

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You can turn location off while browsing by going to Settings Privacy Location Services Safari Websites, and turn this to ‘Never.’

This still won’t prevent advertisers from knowing your rough location based on IP address on any website.

You can also turn Location Services off to the device almost completely from Settings Privacy Location Services.

 Both Google Maps and Apple Maps will still work, but they won’t know where you are on the map and won’t be able to give you directions.

Emergency responders will still be able to find you if the need arises.

On Android

Under the main settings icon click on ‘Security & location.’ Scroll down to the ‘Privacy’ heading. Tap ‘Location.’ You can toggle it off for the entire device.

Use ‘App-level permissions’ to turn off access to various apps.

Unlike the iPhone, there is no setting for ‘While Using.’

You cannot turn off Google Play services, which supplies your location to other apps if you leave that service on.

Sign in as a ‘guest’ on your Android device by swiping down from top and tapping the downward-facing cursor, then again on the torso icon.

 Be aware of which services you sign in on, like Chrome. You can also change search engines even in Chrome.

To delete past location tracking on any device

On the page myactivity.google.com, look for any entry that has a location pin icon beside the word ‘details.’

Clicking on that pops up a window that includes a link that sometimes says ‘From your current location.’

Clicking on it will open Google Maps, which will display where you were at the time.

You can delete it from this popup by clicking on the navigation icon with the three stacked dots and then ‘Delete.’

Some items will be grouped in unexpected places, such as topic names, google.com, Search, or Maps.

You have to delete them item by item. You can wholesale delete all items in date ranges or by service, but will end up taking out more than just location markers.

Source: Dailymail

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