Google makes changes on Help Page after controversy over tracking users' location

Published on: Aug 17, 2018 11:59 IST
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Google, which found itself in hot water over reports claiming that it still tracks users' whereabouts even when they turn off location data, has apparently confirmed that it does track your location data. The tech giant has revised language on its Help Page acknowledging that some location data may be saved in order to 'improve Google experience'. The debate over tracking users location started after Associated Press investigation claimed that many Google applications on Android gadgets and iPhones stores your location information regardless of whether you have utilized protection settings that say they will keep it from doing as such.

Previously, the Help Page stated: "You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored." It now says: "This setting does not affect other location services on your device, like Google Location Services and Find My Device. Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps".

The new language on Google Help Page confirms that users' location data is, indeed, being tracked by some apps. "We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centers," a Google spokesperson was quoted as saying by CNET.

Earlier in 2017, the business news site Quartz claimed through a research that Google was tracking Android users by collecting the addresses of nearby cellphone towers even if all location services were off. "They build advertising information out of data," said Peter Lenz, the senior geospatial analyst at Dstillery, a rival advertising technology company. "More data for them presumably means more profit."

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