An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.
According to a new report published by APnews, Google’ saves your location history even if you’ve paused “Location History” on mobile devices.
Google states on its support pages that you can turn off Location History to prevent the company from storing the places you have been, but AP said this is not true.
Disabling Location History on your devices, however, stops Google from tracking your movements for the purposes of creating a timeline and map of your travels.
A separate feature, called “Web and App Activity,” will continue to store time-stamped location information when you use certain Google apps or browse the web.
For example, Google’ stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are.
It is possible to delete this data, though. Users must remove their web and app location history one point at a time – or delete all of their stored history with Google.
Google has also disputed that there is anything unclear in the way it handles its location history settings on Android.
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.
“We provide clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time,” said Google.