How to prevent Google from tracking your location - with 100% certainty

Alonzo Simpson
August 19, 2018

When you tell Google to turn off location tracking, seems like the company takes it as more of a suggestion than a command.

According to the investigation, this is untrue, with some Google Apps continuing to store time-stamped location data with it turned off. Google Maps captures the user's location as soon as they open the app, while apps and searches that even have nothing to do with geography can save the device's location to the user's Google account.

The AP went to Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist and former chief technologist for the US Federal Communications Commission's enforcement bureau, just to be sure that its understanding of Google's location practices was accurate. To deal with this, the company allows the user to turn off their location history. However, this feature does not work as intended, AP says, claiming that some Google apps still store user location, even when the feature is turned off. The AP created a visual map showing tracked location data from its investigation.

Nearly two billion Android and Apple devices use Google for web browsing or for its maps.

In a statement to AP, it confirmed there are several ways that Google may use location data - including: Location History, Web and App Activity, and through device-level location services. A spokesperson for the company said that it provides "clear descriptions" of all the Google tools that people use which may record users' locations. The issue highlights one of the key conundrums for mobile power users, who often must trade their personal data to enable key features in an app or service. The news adds to a growing list of well-publicized examples, such as Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, of how digital platforms are potentially playing fast and loose with user privacy that could give pause to consumers and brands as they consider where to spend their time and money.

Following these steps on respective systems will prevent Google to track and store your precise location and on your Google account.

Rollout begins of dark mode and Material Design within Android Messages
Ceteris paribus, Android Messages with Dark Mode is a treat for your eyes especially if you do a lot of texting in the night time. However, Google has made it clear that it does not store any messages to provide suggestions to the users.


This isn't a barefaced lie; your location data isn't stored in Location History. As it's a Google OS, you can't turn off Google Play Services. This is leading many people to question how else Google may be tracking users.

Observers say that its only revenue through advertising that Google is keen on and it may be hard to convince the company to completely do away with the practice of tracking and storing the location details.

Once there, turn off Web and App Activity.

The tech giant's support page on the subject states: "You can turn off location history at any time". Even with Location History disabled, Google can still track and store user location on iPhones and Android devices.

In order to prevent Google from tracking you, users need to turn off a setting named "Web & App Activity".

Last year Google earned $95.4 billion from location-related advertising. What's more, this information was stored in Acar's Google account.

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