You might think that toggling off “Google Location History” while in your Google
account (myactivity.google.com) would stop Google from tracking your movements. Google claims that the information that this feature helps Google provide better service to users by knowing where you are, and where you’ve been. But Google claims that “Location History” is disabled by default and can only be turned on with the user’s permission.
Disabling Google Location History doesn’t delete personal data already collected by Google; this is how you can do that
However, when using Google Maps, it is easy to accidentally enable the feature. And to make matters worse, if you go to myactivity.google.com, sign in, and toggle off Location History, it will only stop Google from collecting fresh information. All of the data it garnered in the past will still be available at maps.google.com/timeline.
How to stop Google from tracking you
According to The Hill
, the good news is that this past information can be deleted in your Location History. To do that, go to myactivity,google.com and under Location History, tap on the arrow. That will take you to Location History where one of the options is to Manage activity
. Tap on that option and follow the directions to delete your past activity.
So thus far, we’ve told you how to toggle off Location History and how to delete all of the past activity stored by Google. But without stopping Google from tracking you, it will still collect information and save your personal location data when visiting Google sites, apps, and services like Google Maps. It also could be included in your photos, depending on how you have the settings on your phone’s camera app.
To stop Google from tracking you, you’ll need to pause Web & App Activity Tracking. And this is how you do it. Go to myactivity.google.com and under Web & App Activity, tap on the arrow. That will take you to Activity controls. Toggle off the Web & App Activity button and you’ll see a warning page that explains what could happen once you pause Web & App Activity Tracking.
Pausing Web & App Activity will stop Google from tracking you
For example, Google says, “Pausing Web & App Activity may limit or disable more personalized experiences across Google services. For example, you may stop seeing more relevant search results or recommendations about places you care about. This setting will be paused on all sites, apps, and devices signed in to this account. Even when this setting is paused, Google may temporarily use information from recent searches in order to improve the quality of the active search session.”
At the bottom right side of the page you’ll see two buttons: Cancel and Pause. To pause the tracking, scroll down on the page until the Pause button turns blue and then press it. If you’re having second thoughts about pausing the tracking, tap on the Cancel button.
If you follow the directions in this story, not only will you delete all of the Location Data that Google has collected about your comings and goings over the years, you’ll also be able to stop it from collecting the most recent information that could be taken by tracking your Web & App Activity. Even if you pause the tracking and feel that you have lost some capabilities that you’d rather still have, you can go back in to the settings and reverse everything that you’ve done.
Obviously there are risks to having your Location Data stored online. On the other hand, the data is used to provide users with search results and recommendations that are based on places that they have already visited.