According come an Associated press investigation published this particular day (Aug. 13), the search gigantic may proceed to track your every move when you rotate off ar History, a setup on Android phones and within apps like Google Maps on various other devices that controls the company’s access to your location information. The report confirms earlier investigate from Quartz i m sorry showed how the ar data Google collection is rarely made clear.

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The Google support page for regulating your Location background says that when you rotate it off, “the areas you go room no longer stored. Once you turn off Location history for her Google Account, it’s turn off for every devices associated with that Google Account.”

The AP report found this not to be the case.


In order to actually rotate off location tracking, users have to navigate come a little-known setup called net & application Activity. “Leaving ‘Web & application Activity’ on and turning ‘Location History’ off only stays clear of Google from including your movements to the ‘timeline,’ its visualization of your daily travels,” the AP reported. “It walk not avoid Google’s arsenal of other location markers.”

Though Google insisted that “users have actually the controls come edit, delete, or turn turn off at any kind of time” in an email to Quartz, detect the controls come actually prevent the company from tracking your ar is less than intuitive. This is how:

In a web internet browser (mobile or desktop)

Sign in come your Google Account in the upper-right corner of her browserGo to Personal details & Privacy and also choose Go to mine ActivityIn the left hand navigation bar, click Activity Controls, wherein you’ll see Web & app ActivityToggle Web & app Activity offScroll down and toggle Location History off together well

In Google Maps because that Apple iOS devices

Tap on her Google Account (in the left hand navigation bar)Tap Manage her Google Account and also then Personal info and also privacyScroll under to My Activity, i beg your pardon will open your setups in a internet browserIn the left hand navigating bar, click Activity Controls, wherein you’ll watch Web & app ActivityToggle Web & app Activity offScroll down and also toggle Location History off together well

On an Android device

Go come the Settings appTap on Google settingsTap Google Account (Info, security & personalization)Tap on the Data & personalization tabTap on Web & application ActivityToggle Web & application Activity offScroll down and also toggle Location History off together well

(Some Android gadgets may have their very own designs that median the above instructions won’t be precisely right. Quartz tested on a OnePlus 6, a Samsung Galaxy keep in mind 9, a Google Pixel XL, and also a Motorola Moto z3 Play and also they all followed the workflow above. If friend can’t discover Google setups on the phone, girlfriend can additionally go to myactivity.google.com and climate follow the web browser instructions.)


The AP investigation was influenced by a blog short article from K. Shankari, a university of California, Berkeley computer science graduate student, which called out the search giant’s “background data collection” techniques that log user info without clearly consent.

While over there are fully benign reasons for Google come track her location—such as recommending adjacent restaurants or offering you an exact weather report—Google also uses the information to more accurately advertise versus where girlfriend are and also what she doing.

We often grant apps access to our ar to gain their full benefits, yet it’s tough to understand why Google insists top top tracking us even when we explicitly tell it no to.

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“Tracking world without your consent and also without suitable controls in place is creepy and wrong,” Shankari wrote.