If it seems that we are writing a lot about Google, it’s true. As the world’s most prominent Internet firm, there sure is a lot to analyze. With regard to privacy, we most recently looked at the shortcomings of the Incognito window. Another emerging topic relates to the privacy issues with Google Maps.
Smartphones and Privacy Issues with Google Maps
According to Statista, 55 percent of smartphone consumers use Google Maps. Furthermore, just last month, PC Magazine rated Google Maps ahead of both Apple Maps and Waze in performance.
While this indicates the dominance of Google Maps, it does not help us understand the privacy issues. For that, we turn to Kim Komando, writing for USA Today:
Yes, Google Maps makes navigating unfamiliar cities frustration-free and straightforward. But, now for the bad news.
Big Tech loves to track us and they have geolocation capabilities built into their respective Web sites and apps. If you use an iPhone, tap or click here to see a hidden map of everywhere you have been.
Did you know that Google has been tracking and recording your every move, including your photos’ location data? If you use Google Photos, prepare to be shocked when you see all the data the company has collected about you. Unless you specifically turned off location tracking for pictures, every photo you snap will have the location where it was taken stored within its data.
It is creepy that Google can track your movements without you even realizing it. Here is how you can turn it off using a PC:
- Open Google Maps and click on Your Timeline.
- At the bottom of the screen, click on Manage Location History.
- This will open your Google account’s Activity Controls page.
- If Location History is on, the slider will be blue. Click on it to turn it off, and it should go gray. This will prevent Google from tracking any future movements or geotag photos.
To learn more, click the image.
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