If you were worried that Google hasn’t been completely transparent with you regarding its location tracking, then you were right to be worried.
It has come to light that if Google users pause the collection of location history via their account’s Activity Controls, even then some of the Google apps do not stop collecting the location data.
According to a report by Associated Press published earlier this week on Monday, Google has been lying when they tell you that they don’t track your location once you turn off Location History — as stated on their support page.
In a statement to AP, a Google spokesperson said, “We provide clear description of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time.”
Later this week, on Friday, AP reported that following their initial report, Google had now changed the description of how the Google location history settings work on their support page.
The one from earlier this week read: You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored. When you turn off Location History for you Google Account, it’s off for all devices associated with that Google account.
And the one from later this week read: You can turn off Location History at the account level at any time.
This setting does not affect other location services on your device, like Google Location Services and Find My Device. Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps. When you turn off Location History for you Google Account, it’s off for all devices associated with that Google Account.
You can also turn off Location services for a device.
Now while Google’s intentions with the data it collects, which includes location history, is a debatable topic but this incident goes to show that taking corporates for their word might not work out for your privacy.
The good news is that you can delete your location history from Google’s servers. Go through this article to know more about how you can control your data activity on Google.
You might also like to read: Google owns up, says it added the UIDAI number but this raises even more questions
Advisor at Candid.Technology, Feeroz is a journalist with 36 years of experience in print, digital, and television. After graduating from Delhi University, he began his journalistic journey with India’s leading news agency Press Trust of India, in 1986. After working for nine years in print media, he became the first batch of media professionals to switch to electronic media in 1995. Since then, he has worked with different news channels and digital media.