Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen some headlines this week talking about how Google is tracking users even when they have Location History turned off. In all reality, that’s been going on for quite some time, but the way Google explained everything made it seem like users were turning off that tracking completely. Now, Google has updated the language to make things a bit more clear…
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First reported by Associated Press, Google has updated the description of its Location History feature to clarify the fact that it still tracks users even when that feature has been turned off. Previously, Google’s site explained that turning off the Location History feature meant that “the places you go are no longer stored.” That implied that Google simply wasn’t tracking those users anymore, but that simply wasn’t the case.
Rather, Google was still tracking these users, but the data wasn’t being stored in their accounts. You can see that data for yourself here as long as Location History is still turned on.
Now, Google’s description of Location History more accurately reflects what’s being changed when users turn the feature off.
You can turn off Location History at the account level at any time.
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. When you turn off Location History for your Google Account, it’s off for all devices associated with that Google Account.