How to slow down Google Sensorvault from tracking your location on iOS, Android



Google Maps on an iPhone.

Google Maps is regularly used by law enforcement, according to a New York Times report.

Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google Maps not only follows you but a program called Google Sensorvault is potentially transmitting your location data to law enforcement, according to a New York Times report. We will show you how to make the task more difficult for Google or at least not give him the most detailed data.

Do not forget that an investigation conducted by the Associated Press in 2018 revealed that even if you manually clear Google location history, Google Maps and other apps can keep records of your whereabouts.

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The Web and Application Activity toggle will completely disable tracking of Google's position, but good luck finding it, unless you know exactly where to look.

Screenshot of Rick Broida / CNET

Google maintains that such location features help to improve your experience. But this notion is at odds with the definition of "off," said computer scientist Jonathan Mayer of Princeton. "If you allow users to disable an item called" Location History ", then all places where you manage the location history must be turned off," he said.

Do not hesitate to disable Web & App Activity on Android, but keep in mind that you will lose many localization services.

Screenshot of Rick Broida / CNET

Indeed, even when Location History is turned off in your Google Account settings, AP discovers actions such as searching for something in your browser, checking for automatic weather updates, and opening Google Maps saves your location. Princeton researchers were able to verify AP's claims.

If you want to completely disable location tracking (which, keep in mind, will limit the location features of some applications), you must disable another setting called Web & App Activity.

On Android: Enter the settings and press Google> Google Account> Data & Personalization. Now press Web and App Activity and disable the setting.

On the desktop (also for iOS): Open Google in a new tab, sign in to your account if you're not logged in yet, click on your profile photo (top right corner), then on Google account. Now click Personal information and privacy> My activity, then click Activity Checks in the left toolbar. Click on Web and App Activity toggle to turn it off. While you're at it, make sure the location history is also off.

It should be noted that, unless you are involved in a murder investigation, Google's location tracking has largely altruistic motivations: providing personalized experiences, location recommendations, and so on. Heck, that's how Google is able to broadcast weather reports based on where you are. Of course, it is also used for marketing and advertising purposes.

If it bothers you, you can now unsubscribe – for real.

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