Google clarifies smartphone tracking, how to disable it

Answer Desk
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FILE – In this June 15, 2017, photo, people walk inside the Oculus, the new transit station at the World Trade Center in New York. Data collection practices of tech firms are increasingly under the microscope. An Associated Press investigation shows that using Google services on Android devices and iPhones allows the search giant to […]

Are your Google apps tracking you even when you turn off location service on your phone ? They are, according to an investigation by the Associated Press.

There is a conscious choice that can be made to go through a phone and turn off location permissions on every app, including Google. However, tech experts claimed that may not be enough. 

In fact, the Associated Press claimed turning off access to your data on Google Maps still doesn’t mean the company won’t track you. Some users feel this is a major invasion of privacy. 

“There needs to be much clearer consent and there needs to be control that’s actually honored,” said Google app user K. Shakari.

CBS 17 did some research. To actually turn off account activity, Wired Magazine instructs users to go to their Google account on a computer, click activity controls on the left, and then disable them.

A popup appears saying pausing web and app activity may limit personalized experiences. But, the popup did not mention that this is how to get Google to stop tracking location.

In a statement, Google said, “location history is a Google product that is entirely opt in, and users have the controls to edit, delete or turn it off at any time.”

But some users feel that should be made easier for everyone to do.

Following this initial report, Google corrected a “help” page that erroneously described how its “location history” setting works. The correction makes it clear to users that they are still being tracked by some apps even if they turn the setting off.

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