Google tracks location of the smartphone users even after putting the application on restrictions. The search giant keeps a check on the location history of the smartphone user even when the feature is clearly turned off. It has emerged that this could put the privacy of the phone users in danger.
As per a research by Associated Press (AP), many Google services on the Android operating system phones and iPhone store the location data even if someone puts on the privacy settings that are meant for limiting Google from accessing the location.
Mostly Google asks for permission for using the location details and its app like Google Maps would remind the users to permit access to the location if one uses it for navigation.
If the user allows Google to record the location, the application would then display the history for the user in “timeline” that maps out the daily movements of the user.
Support page of the search giants on the subject stated that one could turn the location history off at any time. With the location history off, the visited places by the user are no more recorded.
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However, it appears that this is not the case in reality as the location is still tracked. Google stores a snapshot of the location of the user when the Map app is opened.
Additionally, the daily weather updates on Android phones indicate roughly where the user is and some searches that have got nothing to do with the location, such as “kids science kits”, etc indicating location coordinates accurately to the square foot and save it to the users Google account—in spite the location is turned off in Google Maps app.
The AP’s research at the Princeton by the computer science researchers confirms that Google keeps a record of the location via multiple applications.
Moreover, a researcher of Mayer’s lab also confirmed the findings of AP on various Android devices.
Mayer said that if one wants to turn off the location history then the location history needs to be turned off in all the applications where it is being used.
The privacy issue affects nearly two billion users of gadgets that operate on the Google’s Android operating software and hundreds of millions of worldwide iPhone users who rely on Google Maps or Google search.