This Is How You Can Keep Google from Creeping on Your Location Data

Google knows exactly where you are pretty much at all times.


Nowadays, data is just flying all over the place, whether you like it or not. Even your seemingly secure data is getting passed around like a bag of orange slices at a peewee football game (see: the Equifax breach, the Whole Foods breach, the Sonic breach). Of course, data is a very general term, and not all of it is necessarily sensitive or important.

But when it comes to where you are and where you have been, most people would be surprised to know that Google has its hands on most of that information. For Android Users, Google has a feature known as Timeline which tracks every move you make, every step you take,  right down to the minute. As reported by the Daily Dot, most people unwittingly have this feature on (Android phones turn it on by default), but there’s an easy way to turn it off, selectively edit it, or erase it all completely.

First, open Timeline. To stop the tracking of your location data, go to the bottom of the homepage, and hit “pause location history.” This will retain all previous location data you’ve logged, but prevent further information from being recorded. Check out these other tips for protecting yourself online.

To remove specific dates, times, or location, go to the calendar in the top right corner of the page, select a date, then an event/location from said date, then press the three gray dot icon. Select “remove stop from day,” and you were never there. To delete a whole date, hit the trash bin icon next to the date, and then it’s gone forever. To get rid of every bit of data ever recorded by the feature, select the trash bin button on the bottom of the interface. You might also want to take a look at your Google My Activity and clear that, too. 

According to the Intercept, law enforcement officials can subpoena your location data from your Google timeline, opening up a gratuitous amount of information about your day to day activities.rd

[Source: The Daily Dot