GOOGLE may be keeping a detailed record of your exact movements – and it’s easy to find out how.
It’s also possible that Google is tracking your movements and you didn’t even realise you’d signed up for it. If that’s the case, we’ll reveal how to turn tracking off immediately.
Google Google can track your location, recording exact locations and times for your movements
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.
The Sun / Google You can turn off Google Location Tracking to stop the company recording a detailed map of your travels
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.
Google Google can map your exact locations over time
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.
Getty – Contributor You should be careful about what information you give Google permission to track
How to turn Google Location History off
The good news is that it’s possible to immediately turn Google Location History off at any time.
You can turn off 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:
The Sun / Google You’ll also need to turn off Web and App Activity tracking to truly prevent Google from nabbing your location
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.
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Did you realise Google could store this much information on you? Let us know in the comments!
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