Huge tech companies are under increasing scrutiny over their data practices.
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Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.If you agree to let it record your location over time, Google Maps will display that history for you in a "timeline" that maps out your daily movements.Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking.To stop Google from saving these location markers, the company says, users can turn off another setting, one that does not specifically reference location information.It does not stop Google's collection of other location markers.To demonstrate how powerful these other markers can be, the AP created a visual map of the movements of Princeton postdoctoral researcher Gunes Acar, who carried an Android phone with Location history off, and shared a record of his Google account.With Location History off, Google Maps and other apps store your whereabouts in a section of your account called "My Activity," not "Location History".While disabling "Web and App Activity" will stop Google from storing location markers, it also prevents Google from storing information generated by searches and other activity.Sean O'Brien, a Yale Privacy Lab researcher with whom the AP shared its findings, said it is "disingenuous" for Google to continuously record these locations even when users disable Location History.
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