Most of us these days are never more than one foot away from our mobile phones. Where you go with your phone Google goes. It is worth considering that Google continues to track your mobile device even if you’ve opted out of its tracking services; Google’s Location History continues to store location data. If you’re looking to shut down Google’s ability to see where you are, there are a few steps you can take.
When you have location services turned on, Google constantly pings your phone from cell towers and Wi-Fi and is using GPS to see where you are. The frequency with which it finds you can be every few minutes or every few seconds, which paints a pretty accurate picture of where you are at all times.
And Google Maps keeps track of every step you (and your smartphone) take. Your activity is then archived in your Google Timeline. The feature, introduced in 2015, can be a walk down memory lane, but it can also leave the door to your privacy wide open.
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With Timeline, Google Maps can not only show you where you’re going but also where you’ve been. There might even be photographic evidence, since Timeline syncs with any shots uploaded to Google Photos. You can also share your location with anyone in real time on iOS and Android.
If this all seems less helpful and more harmful, you can remove your location history and tell Google to quit it already and stop following you. Here’s how.