There is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Unless you turn off your Android smartphone. Google has come up with a surprisingly effective system for tracking those who carry a smartphone managed by its Android operating system.
The company relies heavily on the knowledge of all your trips to better target your ads. In fact, he wants to know where you are going so bad that he records your movements even if you do not say it explicitly. An investigation by the Associated Press We’ve found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting indicating that it will prevent Google from doing so. Princeton’s computer scientists confirmed the results.
The Google support page on the subject says: “You can turn off location history at any time. With the location history turned off, the places you go are no longer stored.” But this is not true. Even if the location history is paused, some Google apps automatically store the time-stamped location data without asking.
For example, Google stores a snapshot of your location when you simply open its Maps app. Automatic daily updates on Android phones let you know where you are. And some searches that have nothing to do with location can identify your latitude and longitude, accurate to the square foot, and save them to your Google Account.
He comes after News Corp Australia reported the huge reach of Google’s tracking capabilities in May this year.
The information returned to Google includes “activity logs” in which the operating system of the phone running in the background gives an idea of how the phone user is moving, such as walking, drive, ride a bike or read with confidence.
It also includes barometric pressure readings to determine, for example, the level of a shopping center you are on. By combining this with your contact information, Google knows which stores you have visited. The device constantly sends all this data to Google’s servers. Experts from the Oracle technology giant recently traveled to Australia and met with ACCC as part of its investigation into digital platforms and their impact on the media and journalism. The Oracle team also met with reporters in May.
They showed how Google gathers a lot of additional location data on phones that do not even have web services or open applications. The data is transmitted even if there is no SIM card, sent via the little-known activity logs.
Google calls these logs “location services”, which is different from the location history and is opt-out, not opt-in.
Google, which recently discovered that Android users were collecting the addresses of nearby mobile towers, even though all location services were disabled, said it was perfectly clear.
“Google can use the site to enhance the user experience in a variety of ways, including site history, web and app activities, and device-level location services,” said a spokesperson. Google in a statement. “We provide clear descriptions of these tools and robust controls so that users can enable or delete them and delete their logs at any time.” To prevent Google from saving these markers, the company declares that users can disable another setting. one that does not specifically refer to location information.
Called “Web and App Activity” and enabled by default, this setting stores various information from Google apps and websites on your Google Account.
In case of a break, this will prevent any activity on any device from being registered to your account. But leaving “Web & App Activity” turned on and off “Location History” only prevents Google from adding your moves to the “timeline,” visualizing your daily commutes.