Google tracks location data even when users turn service off, AP report finds | Tech Industry
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Google’s smartphone services store users’ locations even when privacy settings are adjusted to shut these features off, according to a report by the Associated Press.
While the company asks permission for users to share location information on its applications, it doesn’t halt tracking services when users pause Location History, according to the AP. Google Maps, for instance, grabs information when a user so much as opens the app, and automatic daily weather updates on Android phones give an approximation of user location. Computer-science researchers at Princeton University confirmed the Associated Press’s findings.
Google’s official message is to promote user autonomy when it comes to deciding what information to share: “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored,” according to the company’s privacy page. But the AP said that isn’t true. Even pausing the Location History, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without permission, the AP found.
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