How to find and delete where Google knows you’ve been?

How to find and delete where Google knows you’ve been? Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.

How to find and delete where Google knows you've been?

Here are some things you can do to delete those markers and keep your location as private as possible. But there’s no panacea because simply connecting to the internet on any device flags an IP address, a numeric designation that can be geographically mapped. Smartphones also connect to cell towers, so your carrier knows your general location at all times.

How to find and delete where Google knows you’ve been?

If like others you thought Google stopped tracking your location once you turned off Location History in your account settings, then you were wrong. 

How to find and delete where Google knows you’ve been? It has found post investigation that even if you disable Location History, the search giant still tracks you every time you open Google Maps, get certain automatic weather updates, or search for things in your browser.

It means the investigation found that users are being misled by Google’s claim that for those who turn off Location History “the places you go are no longer stored.” In fact, even with Location History turned off, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking, but now there’s a way to stop it yet it takes some digging.

To actually turn off location tracking, Google says you have to navigate to a setting buried deep in your Google Account called Web & App Activity, which is set by default to share your information, including not just location but IP address and more. Finding that setting isn’t easy. At all.

It knows you better than you know yourself. It knows every smartphone you’ve thought about buying, every co-worker you’ve tried to find dirt on, every embarrassing ailment you’ve suffered. It’s your Google Activity (formerly known as Google Web & App History), and it knows everything you’ve searched for.

How to prevent further tracking?

How to find and delete where Google knows you’ve been? And how to prevent further tracking?

For any device: 

# Fire up your browser and go to myactivity.google.com

# Sign into Google if you haven’t already.

# On the upper left drop-down menu, go to ‘Activity Controls.’

# Turn off both ‘Web & App Activity’ and ‘Location History.’ That should prevent precise location markers from being stored to your Google account.

Google will warn you that some of its services won’t work as well with these settings off. In particular, neither the Google Assistant, a digital concierge, nor the Google Home smart speaker will be particularly useful.

On iOS: 

How to find and delete where Google knows you’ve been?

# If you use Google Maps, adjust your location setting to ‘While Using’ the app, this will prevent the app from accessing your location when it’s not active.

# Go to Settings > Privacy >Location Services

# And from there select Google Maps to make the adjustment.

In the Safari web browser,

# Consider using a search engine other than Google.

# Under Settings > Safari > Search Engine, you can find other options like Bing or DuckDuckGo.

# You can turn location off while browsing by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Safari Websites, and turn this to ‘Never.’ (This still won’t prevent advertisers from knowing your rough location based on IP address on any website.)

# You can also turn Location Services off to the device almost completely from Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

# Both Google Maps and Apple Maps will still work, but they don’t know where you are on the map and won’t be able to give you directions.

# Emergency responders will still be able to find you if the need arises.

On Android:

How to find and delete where Google knows you’ve been?

# Under the main settings icon click on ‘Security & location.’

# Scroll down to the ‘Privacy’ heading. Tap ‘Location.’

# You can toggle it off for the entire device.

# Use ‘App-level permissions’ to turn off access to various apps.

# Unlike the iPhone, there is no setting for ‘While Using.’

# You cannot turn off Google Play services, which supplies your location to other apps if you leave that service on.
# Sign in as a ‘guest’ on your Android device by swiping down from the top and tapping the downward-facing caret, then again on the torso icon.

# Be aware of which services you sign in on, like Chrome.

# You can also change search engines even in Chrome.

How to delete past location tracking from your device?

For any device: 

# On the page myactivity.google.com, look for any entry that has a location pin icon beside the word ‘details’.

# Clicking on that pops up a window that includes a link that sometimes says ‘From your current location.’

# Clicking on it will open Google Maps, which will display where you were at the time.

# You can delete it from this popup by clicking on the navigation icon with the three stacked dots and then ‘Delete’.

# 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.

Notably

Tracking people without their consent and without proper controls in place is creepy and wrong.

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