Google Tracks Users Even With Location Data Turned Off

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San Francisco: After facing criticism over reports that certain Google apps track users’ whereabouts even when they turn off location data, the tech giant has revised its Help Page, clarifying that it does track location data in order to “improve Google experience”.

Previously, the Help Page stated: “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”

The page now says: “This setting does not affect other location services on your device, like Google Location Services and Find My Device.

“Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps”.

The new language confirms that location data is, indeed, being tracked by some Google apps.

“We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centres,” CNET reported on
Friday, quoting a Google spokesperson.

A news agency had earlier this week ran a story saying an investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store users’ location data even
if the users explicitly used a privacy setting forbidding that.

However, according to the information on Google’s Activity Control page, “Even when
this setting is paused, Google may temporarily use information from recent searches
in order to improve the quality of the active search session”.

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