After an investigation by the Associated Press revealed that Google tracks your location even after turning off the settings, the tech giant has faced criticism from left and right.
Google has opened up about its location tracking policy, and confirmed that it does track your location even when you have not granted permissions for it. Google updated a page titled ‘Manage or delete your location history’ in their support forum which states that “this setting [location history] does not affect other location services on your device. Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps.”
The Location History setting has been updated to clarify that “This setting does not affect other location services on your device,” and that “some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps.”
AP reported that Google was still tracking users who had disabled the Location History feature earlier this week, noting that while the company had originally claimed that “With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored,” in reality all that was happening was that Google was no longer adding user’s locations and movements to its Timeline feature — but that the company was still tracking users through other means. Nothing has changed, except for the updated language on the help page that now more accurately reflects what’s happening.
But while the Location History toggle won’t actually stop Google from tracking you, users can turn that off by disabling the “Web and App Activity” option (which is enabled by default). Turn it off, and Google won’t be able to store and track your Maps data and browser searches for location anymore.