Google acknowledges it tracks users even with location setting disabled

An Android smartphone illustrative

The problem? Even if the user does disable location history, Google continues tracking their location. The once erroneous wording has now been changed to say: "This setting does not affect other location services on your device" and acknowledges that "some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps". Others, however, may take issue with Google continuing to track device location for some services even after you told it not to. "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".

That's the rather sticky situation that Google has suddenly found itself in after Associated Press launched an investigation on how the tech giant keeps on tracking your location even after you turn certain settings off. Automated searches of the local weather on some Android phones also store the phone's whereabouts. Previously, the page stated: "With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored".

"I can't think off the top of my head of any major online service that architected their location privacy settings in a similar way".

In order to fully prevent their location from being tracked, users must adjust their "web and app activity" settings as well, the AP found.

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The update in the support page has made it clear that Google has lied about its data collection policies and collects even when users have revoked the permissions for it.

With the revelation that users can not easily turn off tracking, Google has seemingly found itself in the midst of swirling debates over privacy, particularly with the rollout of the Europe Union's new sweeping privacy disclosure and tracking regulations in late May, and a consumer data protection law passed in California in June.

Several observers also noted that Google is still bound by a 20-year agreement it struck with the Federal Trade Commission in 2011.

"You can turn off Location History at the account level at any time".

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