Brand Updates & Reviews

Using an Android phone? Google is tracking every move you make

As a result, Google holds more extensive data on Android users than some ever realize. That data can be used by the company to sell targeted advertising and to track into stores those consumers who saw ads on their phone or computer urging them to visit.

While you’ve probably never heard of it, “Location History” is a longtime Google product with origins in the now-defunct Google Latitude. (Launched in 2009, that app allowed users to constantly broadcast their location to friends.) Today, Location History is used to power features like traffic predictions and restaurant recommendations. While it is not enabled on an Android phone by default—or even suggested to be turned on when setting up a new phone—activating Location History is subtly baked into setup for apps like Google Maps, Photos, the Google Assistant, and the primary Google app. In testing multiple phones, Quartz found that none of those apps use the same language to describe what happens when Location History is enabled, and none explicitly indicate that activation will allow every Google app, not just the one seeking permission, to access Location History data.

Google, accurately, describes Location History as entirely opt-in. “With your permission, Google uses your Location History to deliver better results and recommendations on Google products.

However, as Location History is entirely opt-in, therefore you can always edit, delete, or turn it off at any time.

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