GOOGLE tracks your location everywhere you go – but a new tool will delete that data automatically.
Responding to user privacy fears, Google is adding an “auto-delete” function that will cull your movements after an amount of time (of your choosing) has passed.
Google A new Google feature will stop your location history being saved forever
Previously, you had an all-or-nothing option: either let Google track you and gain useful features, or avoid it completely.
But what if you wanted useful features based on recent location history, without having Google keeping an endless log of your life?
Well now you can, because Google is letting you put a time limit on your location history.
You can pick either three months or 18 months, after which time any location data will be deleted from your account.
Google Google can track your location, recording exact locations and times for your movements
“We work to keep your data private and secure, and we’ve heard your feedback that we need to provide simpler ways for you to manage or delete it,” the firm explained in a new blog post.
Google went on:”You should always be able to manage your data in a way that works best for you.
“We’re committed to giving you the best controls to make that happen.”
What is Google Location History?
Google’s Location History is an account-wide service that tracks your movements using your smartphone.
It’ll record your real-world movements if you’re signed into your Google account, Location History is turned on, and Location Reporting is turned on.
The idea is that Google can provide you with better services if it knows where you’ve been.
For instance, it can give you more detailed commute advice, recommendations based on places you’ve visited, and more useful advertisements.
But not everyone wants Google to keep an ongoing record of their movements.
After all, there are major privacy risks when it comes to storing details of everywhere you’ve ever been online.
That’s why Google Location History is turned off by default, and is only activated with your permission.
However, it’s common for users to accidentally enable Google Location History through the Google Maps app, without realising exactly what they’ve signed up to.
The Sun / Google You can turn off Google Location Tracking to stop the company recording a detailed map of your travels
How to auto-delete your Google location data
You can stop Google collecting location data at any time.
But you might not see the new time-limiting features, which Google said “will roll out in the coming weeks”.
You can turn off or time-limit you Location History here:
However, to truly stop Google from tracking you, you’ll also need to turn off Web & Activity Tracking.
You can see your tracked location markers here:
Unfortunately, these location markers are intermingled with a host of other information, so it’s tricky to locate (and delete them).
To turn it off, simply click the above link then head to Activity Controls.
From there, you’ll be able to turn off Web & Activity Tracking across all Google sites, apps and services.
Google Google can map your exact locations over time
The Sun / Google You’ll also need to turn off Web and App Activity tracking to truly prevent Google from nabbing your location
How to check your Google Location History
There are several ways to check your own Google Location History.
The easiest way is to follow the link to the Google Maps Timeline page:
This lets you see exactly where you’ve been on a given day, even tracking your methods of travel and the times you were at certain locations.
Alternatively, if you’ve got the Google Maps app, launch it and press the hamburger icon – three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other.
Then go to the Your Timeline tab, which will show places you’ve previously visited on a given day.
If you’ve had Google Location History turned on for a few years without realising, this might be quite shocking.
Suddenly finding out that Google has an extremely detailed map of years of your real-world movements can seem creepy – so you might want to turn the feature off.
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Do you trust Google to keep your location data safe? Let us know in the comments!
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