The Associated Press published an in-depth report about how “ Google tracks your movements ” on your mobile devices. Depending on your settings, the tech company can keep tabs of your every move through your Location Services.
“Many Google services on Android devices and iPhones,” the Associated Press investigation found, “store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.”
Location data should only be used for select apps, according to Walter Zalisko, a retired police chief who now runs a private investigation business. “The only time you need location services turned on is if you’re on the location mapping service,” he said.
There are benefits to having your Location Services turned on. If you get lost in the woods or lose your phone you have a better chance of being found quickly. However, having your Location Services turned on all of the time can be dangerous.
“Domestic violence victims can be stalked by a predator,” said Walter. He also explained that having Location Services turned on opens the window for identity theft and it makes your home more vulnerable to a burglary.
But there are ways to stop Google from watching you on your mobile devices and your computers. You just have to turn off the Location Services. Here’s how.
On the iPhone
GO TO GOOGLE MAPS
TAP ON YOUR GOOGLE ACCOUNT ON THE LEFT-HAND SIDE
TAP MANAGE YOUR GOOGLE ACCOUNT
CLICK PERSONAL INFO AND PRIVACY
SCROLL DOWN TO ‘MY ACTIVITY’ WHICH WILL OPEN YOUR SETTINGS IN A WEB BROWSER.
CLICK ACTIVITY CONTROLS – YOU WILL SEE ALL YOUR WEB AND APP ACTIVITY.
TOGGLE THE WEB AND ACTIVITY BUTTON OFF
SCROLL DOWN AND TURN THE LOCATION HISTORY
On the Android
GO TO SETTINGS
CLICK ON GOOGLE SETTINGS
CLICK ON GOOGLE ACCOUNT
CLICK ON ‘SEE DATA AND PERSONALIZATION’
CLICK ON WEB AND APP ACTIVITY AND TURN IT OFF
SCROLL DOWN AND TURN OFF LOCATION HISTORY
IN A WEB BROWSER ENTER MYACCOUNT.GOOGLE.COM
SIGN IN AND GO TO YOUR PERSONAL INFO AND PRIVACY
CLICK ON ‘GO TO MY ACTIVITY’
ON THE LEFT-HAND SIDE YOU WILL SEE ACTIVITY CONTROLS
CLICK ON IT – ALL OF YOUR WEB AND APP ACTIVITY WILL BE LISTED
TOGGLE THE WEB AND APP ACTIVITY BUTTON OFF
SCROLL DOWN AND TOGGLE THE LOCATION HISTORY BOTTON OFF
Additional reporting by Tianna Jenkins