Turning off Location History doesn't stop Google from tracking you. There's one more account setting you can change to prevent tracking.
Google is in the news recently. It seems turning off Location History in a Google account doesn't completely turn off tracking.
Whether you're on a computer or mobile device, turning off one additional setting in a Google account will disable location tracking. If you use Google Maps or other location based Google services, you might not want to turn this off as Google Maps and any other location based Google services won't work properly.
To completely turn off location tracking, log in to your Google account to pause "Web and App Activity". If you haven't already done so, pause Location History. You can find the settings here:
- Web: go to Personal info and privacy > Manage your Google activity > Activity controls
- Android: Settings > Google Account > Data and personalization
- iOS: Log in to Account Activity Controls using your browser
Location history doesn't stop Google from tracking you because Google utilizes multiple ways to track you. Other apps, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile signal towers are used to pinpoint where you are. This is how Google Maps can be accurate in giving directions based on your location. These additional tracking methods are the reason you might have gotten notifications to review places you've visited, even if you turned Location history off, on a mobile device.
Pausing Location history and Web & App Activity stops tracking from that moment forward. You can delete past history manually by using the manage activity settings. You can pause and delete your search and browse history, YouTube activity, and other Google services in same area of your Google account. Even if you're on a desktop that doesn't go anywhere you might want to pause some Google services.
Google is currently updating its Help pages to reflect the changes in how tracking is used so the fine print matches how they collect location and other personal data.
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