How to Stop Google From Tracking Your Whereabouts

August 14, 2018

By Conor White

Android and iPhone users looking for a way to hide from Google are in luck: it's possible to stop the tech giant's apps, including Google Maps, from tracking a device's whereabouts.

The Associated Press reported that Google was storing users' location and browsing data even after many people believed they had opted not to share that information by turning off "location history."

By doing some digging, Emily Dreyfuss, a senior writer at Wired, found a solution, if you have the patience to navigate the innermost settings pages of your Google apps.

  • Open a browser to access your Google account settings.
  • The setting is buried under "personal information."
  • Go to your activity log and look for "Web and App Activity."
  • Turn the setting off.

Dreyfuss said in an interview with Cheddar that users would still be able to use location-based apps like Lyft and Uber, but Google won't be able to track and store information about where the device has been.

"You can still have location on, on your iPhone or your Android, as long as in your Google account settings you have turned off 'Web and Activity Tracking,'" she said.

Recent revelations about the ways in which Facebook, Google, and other technology companies track, store, and share users' personal data has increased consumers' desire to safeguard their privacy. Dreyfuss said that concern led to the latest discovery about Google's methods.

"We all have this sense that we don't know when our location is being used or why," she said. "That's what was so creepy about this, even when we thought that we had turned it off, this is confirmation that we're not as in control as we thought."

For full interview, click here.