PSA: Your Phone Logs Everywhere You Go. Here's How to Turn It Off

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You in all probability know your cellphone can pinpoint your location for GPS, native search, or the climate. Hopefully, you additionally know meaning your cellphone retains observe of in every single place you go, on a regular basis. Don’t be alarmed—it is the commerce you make for the options you get. If it makes you uncomfortable, here is easy methods to opt-out.

Yesterday, TechCrunch wrote about Google’s Location History, which exhibits you the place you had been at any level within the day, on any given day, in response to Google’s location information. The device is previous—Google launched it again when Latitude was nonetheless a factor. Even although Latitude is lengthy gone, the device lives on. It’s necessary to do not forget that all of that is fully opt-in. When you arrange a brand new Android machine, or set up any Google app in your iOS machine, you are prompted to share location information. If you say sure, your info goes into this database—which can also be the place apps like Google Now look to let you know what the climate is the place you might be, convey up your boarding go once you arrive on the airport, or show foreign money and language conversion playing cards once you land out of the country.

However, if it does unsettle you that there is this a lot info
about your actions on a each day foundation sitting in a database the place
it may be accessed by anybody together with your password (or anybody with a
subpoena or a sufficiently-legal-looking letter, relying on how Google
responds to it), it is simple to show off:

If You’re On Android

If you are an Android consumer, Google’s location providers is damaged into two options. Location Reporting, and Location History:

  • Location Reporting is the characteristic that provides apps like Google Now, Google Maps, Foursquare, Twitter, and even your digital camera app entry to your place. Whenever an app exhibits you one thing close by, suggests native companies, or helps you discover the closest gasoline station, it is utilizing Location Reporting.
  • Location History is the characteristic that retains observe of the place you have been, and any addresses you kind in or navigate to. For instance, it is how Google figures out the place “Home” and “Work” are so Google Now can estimate your commute time or offer you site visitors info for these locations. Turning it off will nonetheless offer you site visitors info, however it means Google will not attempt to guess the place you are going primarily based in your earlier searches.

To disable location reporting or historical past in Android:

  1. Open the App Drawer and go to Settings.
  2. Scroll down and faucet Location.
  3. Scroll down and faucet Google Location Settings.
  4. Tap Location Reporting and Location History, and change the slider to off for each.
  1. To delete your cellphone’s location cache, faucet “Delete Location History” on the backside of the display underneath Location History.
  1. Repeat this course of for every Google Account you will have in your Android machine.

Google makes the method fairly simple and clear. The draw back is that apps like Google Maps and some other Google service that makes use of your location information both will not work, or they’re going to immediate you each time they need entry to your place. If you take pleasure in location providers however don’t need in every single place you go dumped into this database, simply disable Location History and go away Location Reporting enabled.

If You’re On iOS:

iOS customers have it a little bit extra difficult. While iOS provides you extra management on a per-app foundation over who can see your place and when, you aren’t getting as a lot management over the precise database. You can flip off Google’s entry to your location information, however you’ll be able to’t wipe its historical past with out visiting the database on the internet, which we talked about earlier (and can get again to in a second.) First although, you must flip off entry to location providers in your iPhone or iPad:

To disable location providers in iOS:

  1. Open the Settings App.
  2. Scroll right down to Privacy, and choose Location Services.
  3. Disable all Location Services by swiping the slider on the prime, or scroll right down to disable location providers for particular apps, together with Google and Google Maps.
  1. Select System Services to disclaim location information from particular options, like location-based ads, flip off Frequent Locations, or disable the “Popular Near Me” characteristic.

Apple makes the method simple right here too. There’s a knowledgebase article on the subject if you might want to learn extra, or if you happen to’re operating an earlier model of iOS. Again, if you happen to disable these options, they’re going to immediate you each time they need location info, or they simply will not work.

To Clear Google’s Database on the Web:

Once you have turned every part off in your machine, you’ll be able to empty Google’s database of your location proper from the location history page we talked about earlier. Click on the present day, and click on “Delete all historical past” within the left sidebar. If you like, you’ll be able to delete location historical past from particular days—simply choose the day in query and click on “Delete historical past from today.”

That’s all there may be to it. Of course, clearing any logged information in your cellphone is a little more difficult than simply toggling location providers. We have a guide on how to do it, however remember that your Android cellphone will in all probability should be rooted (assuming you do not see “Delete Location History” within the Google Location Settings above), and your iOS machine will in all probability should be jailbroken so that you can do it.

Let’s be clear: location providers are literally actually helpful, and make numerous our favourite apps work the best way they do. Before you disable these options, be sure to’re not counting on them. Consider whether or not or not the apps and providers you utilize are helpful sufficient to you that the knowledge you hand over is an appropriate commerce. If they’re, go away these options on, however if you happen to’re not, now you understand how to show them off till you need them.

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