Google pretty much tracks you and your smartphone wherever it goes and log it in your Google Timeline. It's part of the search engine's whole system of letting you know where you're going and where you have been. It would be a nice thing to keep track of where you have been for trips down memory lane, but it is also a very creepy privacy concern.
How to Stop Google From Tracking You
Turning off location history in your Google account is just the beginning of stopping Google from tracking you. According to Cnet, some apps still store your location data and simply opening any Google platform logs your approximate location with a time stamp.
Google does give you control over the matter, you just have to know where to look.
4. Deleting Location History
This is the first thing you should be turning off, according to PC Mag.
Head over to the My Activity dashboard and click on Location History. Toggle it off and then Click Devices on this account to check which devices are linked to your google account. Disconnect the ones you don't want tracked.
You can also choose how long the company will hold on to your data by selecting how many months it would take before Google auto-deletes your activity file.
3. Removing Data from the Google Maps Timeline
You can also be more specific with the data you remove from the Google Timeline by clicking Manage activity from the Location History page.
You can also open Google Maps and click on the hamburger menu in the top-left corner, select Your Timeline, and edit from there.
You can narrow your results by year, month and day, via the date filter. You can remove a specific stop from the day and delete an entire day from the timeline. For specific locations, switch to mobile and choose Your timeline. Head to Places > View all visited places and select Remove all visits.
Depending on your Google Photos integration, some of your own images will be linked to specific tagged locations on the map for you. A nice memory jogger but also quite concerning.
2. Turn off Location Tracking
This is to completely shut down future logging of your location, Cnet said. On Google, enter into your account and head over to Manage your Google Account. In the Privacy and Personalization section, click on Manage Your Data and Personalization.
Scroll down and select Activity Controls then click Manage Your Activity Controls. Select Web & App Activity and toggle the switch off. Google will then let you know what disabling the setting entails and simply confirm the action.
1.A. Managing Location Setting on iOS Devices
Apple allows its users to be more specific with how apps use their location. In Settings, you can choose to go to each app to check the permission granted to each on how they use your location. You can set it to "Never," "Ask Next Time," "While Using" or "Always."
To shut off locations services across the board, go to Settings > Privacy > Locations Services and switch off the toggle. This will stop the functionality of some apps like Uber, Lyft, and other apps that do rely on your location.
1.B. Managing Location Setting on Android Devices
Depending on the phone manufacturer, some settings will not be exact but head over to Settings > Location. You can toggle the setting to turn it off across the board or be more specific by checking each App under App permissions.
You can also opt to just make location tracking less accurate by clicking on Improve accuracy and turn off the settings for Wi-Fi scanning and Bluetooth scanning said PC Mag.
Pros and Cons of Disabling Google Tracking
Google said that it tracks its users to offer a more personalized internet experience. When tracking is turned off, you will see less relevant ads and less helpful search recommendations, Cnet said. It will be an overall less-tailored experience using the search engine and all its apps and services.
Some users may appreciate the personalized experience but for others, privacy is a priority over everything and losing that tailor-fit internet experience isn't so much of a drawback.