Photo by slon_dot_pics
The Associated Press, working with computer-science researchers at Princeton University, has discovered that Google’s iOS and Android apps track your location even if you turn off the Location History setting. Google says, “With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.” However, AP and the Princeton researchers found that Google may record your location anyway, such as when you open the Google Maps app. That’s thanks to another setting, Web & App Activity, which can store location data independently.
If you’re perturbed by all this, you can disable both Location History and Web & App Activity, but doing so prevents Google from storing search history, potentially making searches and other Google tools less useful. You can also delete your previous location history and search activity. iOS users have another way to avoid sharing such data with Google. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, where you can fine tune when particular Google apps are allowed to access your location.