Find Out Whether Google is Tracking Your Location

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Above is what Bob Ambrogi’s location history looks like for his time in Chicago earlier this week. To see what Google knows about where you have been, click here while logged into your Google account.

As Bob points out, it’s a little creepy that Google’s network knows where you are and keeps track of where you have been (for 30 days). However, I think it is great that Google is transparent with its users about what its systems know. The NSA is not nearly so considerate.

If you would rather not share your location with Google, you can just turn off location tracking, either by going to your location history settings and clicking the Pause button or by turning off location services on your mobile devices. Here are instructions for Android and iOS.

I’ve never really used the Google app for iOS or Google Now, which is what turns your location history into useful information, so my location history is blank.

And remember, location history is not just about your privacy:

This data is also evidence — evidence that could be used against your client or that your client could use against others. If it is stored somewhere, it is subject to subpoena. So don’t forget that Google and Apple and the cell carrier all may have tracking data relevant to your case.

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  • The weird part is, in many cases it’s just wrong. I was interested to see how it tracked me on my last business trip only to find out according to Google I never left the house. And on other days some of the paths are downright erratic or end abruptly in locations I never was. I wouldn’t be relying too much on that info in any court.