Just when you thought you have disabled location tracking since you have turned off your location settings and history, you were wrong. According to a report by Associated Press last Monday, even though you’ve already disabled your Location History, Google will still be able to track you down – every single time.
Google said that while the location history is turned off, it only means that the places you go to are no longer stored. In reality, there are other means to track you down – when you open Google Maps, when you check the weather, and almost all other applications that rely partly on location to function. Google introduces additional features it claims will respect or enhance the end user’s privacy and us, end users believe it. Then, later at some point, we discover it’s not all true.
Google readily admitted that it has always kept track of all its users even if they turn off location tracking or history. This was after the investigation from Associated Press (AP) and this was not the first time that the tech giant was involved in some privacy problems related to its mobile platforms and phones. Just November last year, Google acknowledged that it is able to track mobile phones even without a SIM card by checking the addresses of local cellular towers masts. Google later on committed to stop such behavior moving forward. And yet, here we are…
In a quoted report by the Associated Press –
“Can this additional location history information also be deleted? Yes — but not easily. The AP has written a guide on deleting the data Google collects on you. There’s no option to tell Android to only allow applications to access location data while you’re using them, unlike iOS, which offers that alternative.
You can control which applications have access to your data, but not when they access it. If you want to delete past location tracking, the AP notes that “Some items will be grouped in unexpected places, such as topic names, google.com, Search, or Maps. You have to delete them item by item. You can wholesale delete all items in date ranges or by service, but will end up taking out more than just location markers.”
So technically, you can get rid of this data, but only if you’re willing to take some risks to do so. You can’t choose to simply have it not collected. The reason behind this is because Google has a consigned interest in making your life as hard as possible. Your privacy is contraindicated by Google’s business model – meaning they are making it their concern. And in that aspect, we can expect situations like this to happen again and again for a longer period of time.