[This article is originally published in cnet.com written by RICK BROIDA - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Joshua Simon]

Google Maps is regularly being used by law enforcement, according to a New York Times report.

Not only is Google Maps tracking you, but a program called Google Sensorvault is potentially turning over your location data to law enforcement, according to a report from The New York Times. We'll show you how you make it more difficult for Google or at least not hand over the most granular data.

Keep in mind that a 2018 Associated Press investigation reported that even if you manually disable Google Location History, Google Maps and other apps may retain data about your whereabouts

We also recently learned that Facebook is tracking you even after you deactivate your account, so it's not just Google that you have to worry about. (Alternatively, you may want to at least turn off Facebook's facial recognition feature.)

The Web App Activity toggle will fully disable Google location tracking but good luck finding it unless you know exactly where to lookJPG

The Web & App Activity toggle will fully disable Google location tracking, but good luck finding it unless you know exactly where to look.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

"Google maintains that such location-tracking features are intended to improve your experience. But that notion is at odds with the definition of "off," said Princeton computer scientist Jonathan Mayer. "If you're going to allow users to turn off something called 'Location History,' then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off," he said.

Indeed even when Location History is toggled off in your Google account settings

Feel free to disable Web & App Activity on Android, but keep in mind you'll lose out on a lot of location-based services.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Indeed, even when Location History is toggled off in your Google account settings, AP discovered, actions like searching for something in your browser, checking automatic weather updates and opening Google Maps will record your location. Princeton researchers were able to verify AP's claims.

If you want to fully disable location tracking (which, keep in mind, will limit certain apps' location-driven capabilities), you need to disable another setting called Web & App Activity.

On Android: Venture into Settings, then tap Google > Google Account > Data & personalization. Now tap Web & App Activity and toggle the setting off.

On desktop (also for iOS): Open Google in a new tab, sign into your account if you're not already signed in, click your profile picture (upper-right corner) and then click Google Account. Now click Personal info & privacy > My Activity, then click Activity controls in the lefthand toolbar. Click the Web & App Activity toggle to turn it off. While you're at it, make sure Location History is toggled off here as well.

It bears noting that unless you're involved in a murder investigation, Google's location tracking has largely altruistic motives: providing personalized experiences, location-oriented recommendations and so on. Heck, it's how Google is able to serve up weather reports based on where you are. Of course, it's no doubt used for marketing and advertising purposes as well.

If that bothers you, now you can opt out -- for real.

Categorized in How to

It's no secret that Google knows a lot about you. It recently made headlines when the internet realised every time someone speaks to Google, it records their voice. And you can listen back to it. But that isn't the only bit of Google data that users with the right know-how can track down.

One of the more interesting places to check out what Google really knows about you is to head over to its ad settings page where (if you're signed into your Google account) you'll see a profile Google has built for you based on your search history, YouTube history and interests. So, for example, it might know that you're female, aged 18-24 and interested in banking, consumer electronics, mobile phones, shooter games, rap and hip hop and toys.

Google doesn't make a huge song and dance about its in-depth knowledge of its users, but at the same time it doesn't keep it a secret either. Here's how to find out what Google knows and take control of your data.

Google saves every voice search

Google records what you say every time you speak to it

Google's voice search-saving habits have been reported onmany times.

Anyone who use Google's voice search or the voice-activated assistant, Google Now, have their searches stored so that more relevant ads are served and search features are steadily improved -- in the same way you'd expect from regular Google search.

And a lot of people don't realise that many of these searches are actually recorded. This means users are able to listen back to exactly what they searched for by listening to what they said and how they said it.

How to delete it: If you've used any of Google's opt-in voice features for yourself, then head to Google's Voice & Audio Activity page to review your voice searches and listen back to them. Be warned, this could be interesting, funny or just plain cringe-worthy.

To delete this database of embarrassing searches select one or more of the recordings from the check box beside them and then click "delete" at the top of the screen.

Google saves all your searches

Probably the least surprising of the lot, but Google has all of your search history stored up.

How to delete it: If you'd rather not have a list of ridiculous search queries stored up, then head to Google's history page, click Menu (the three vertical dots) and then hit Advanced -& All Time -& Delete.

If you want to stop Google tracking your searches for good, head to the activity controls page and toggle tracking off.

Google tracks and records your location

Use Google's location services? Then your every move is being tracked and mapped

As well as recording your searches and your voice, Google has also been keeping tabs on your location.

Google's location history, or timeline page, serves up a Google Map and allows you to select specific dates and times and see where you were. Its accuracy depends on whether you were signed into your Google account and carrying a phone or tablet at the time.

How to delete it: When you visit the timeline page you can hit the settings cog in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen and select delete all from there.

There's also the option to pause location history by hitting the big button in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

But this one is a little trickier to completely get rid of, because to stop it happening in future you'll need to opt out of both location tracking and location reporting with your device -- whether you're running Android or iOS.

Delete all your online accounts

The website uses Google's OAuth protocol to delete your online presence

Deseat.me

If you've ever wanted to remove yourself (almost) entirely from the internet, Swedish website Deseat.me uses your Google account to help.

Using Google's OAuth protocol, which allows third-party users to access your other accounts without finding out your password details, Deseat.me brings up all your online and social media accounts and allows you to delete yourself from them.

How to delete it: Visit Deseat.me and input your Gmail address. It will bring up all the online accounts linked to that email address and allow you to get rid of them.

The Snooper's Charter

It’s not just Google that can see everything you do on the internet. The Snooper’s Charter, or the Investigatory Powers Bill as it is formerly known, has been passed by both Houses of Parliament and is set to become law.

Under the bill, security forces will be able to access internet history data when it is needed to help their investigations and this data will be stored for a total of 12 months in order to utilise it. 48 public authorities can access the data including police forces all over the UK, Secret Intelligence Service, GCHQand the Home Office. Being aware of your online activity has never been more imperative.

Author : BECCA CADDY

Source : http://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-history-search-tracking-data-how-to-delete

Categorized in Search Engine

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