Sunday , February 28 2021

Why turn off Google Maps history does not mean that your app is not aware of your location?

Each time you search for an address in Google Maps, you let the application know where it is located and save that information to your database even if you do not want to.

Just when you open an app, the system automatically saves your location and can guess what your home or work address is, considering the places and how often you visit. Deactivating Location History does not prevent this from happening.

The company claims that it "enhances user experience" and offers "tight control" so customers can "delete their history in a timely manner."

In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, he posted on his website a new article entitled "Facilitating Data Control in Google", in which Product Manager Eric Miraglia explains the steps to be taken by those who do not want to leave it on the track in the search engine.

When you search on Google Maps or create a route, the company stores it and records it in its memory. Everything you've searched for is stored in the "Location History" section, which lists the "user paths."

These data not only improve the quality of the service, but also allow advertisers to monitor the effectiveness of their online advertising from 2014 onwards. Many mistakenly believe that the deactivation of history is sufficient to prevent recording of these records.

"One might think that because of the fact that Google does not want to keep track of its location by deactivating the option named" Location History, "the internet giant might not store data about its location," writes British security researcher Graham Cluley on his blog. .

"But it turns out that this is not the case," added a specialist, referring to a recent study by the Associated Press, which analyzed this issue.

This report raised the anger of several US legislators who accused the company of violating their users' privacy.

The company then responded (at the end of August), ensuring that it provides a "clear description of its tools". And now he has again responded to Miraglia's search history news.

While it is true that these changes only affect those who are currently using the search engine, the manager says that "next year we will expand it to Maps and then to many other Google products."

"Accessing privacy controls directly on the Google products you use on a daily basis is one of the things we constantly work to keep everyone safe," he added.

But when you delete your search history on Maps, your data is not deleted from Google.

"The data stored in your account allows you to enjoy more personalized experience on all Google services," says the company.

If you want to check what Google Maps knows about you, you can sign in to your Google Account and click on "Your Personal Data". In this file you will see several personal details and an option called "Google Maps Time Scale".

If you use it, you will see the most visited sites, travel, location history, home and work address … and on what day, month and year you went to each location. However, while deleting your search history is not enough to prevent Google from knowing where you are, there is another option that will allow you to prevent these data from being saved. This is what Google calls "Web & Application Activity." This section shows "your searches and your activity on other Google services."

The company ensures that it is useful for you to get "better results and recommendations", but at the same time it allows you to learn a lot more about yourself. To disable this feature, you must open your Google Account and click on "Account Activity Control" and then click "deactivate" to disable the feature.

Source: BBC World

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