And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like "chocolate chip cookies", or "kids science kits", pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude-accurate to the square foot-and save it to your Google account. The AP is confused, like so many of us, about the painful amount of freedom and anonymity we gave up long, long ago, that we should rightfully get back if only our governments would do anything about it, but here we go again.
The mistake people make is wrongly assuming that turning off an option called "location" actually turns off the gathering of location data - which is obviously ridiculous because if people really wanted Google not to know where they are every second of every day, they would of course go to "Web and App Activity" and "pause" all activity there, even though it makes no mention of location data.
Google past year faced scrutiny over a similar issue when reports emerged that the tech giant had been collecting Android users' location data using the addresses of nearby cellphone towers.
Local data is quite valuable to Google's advertising efforts and one of the main reasons why the company pushes location-tracking on its devices and in its services. I, for example, frequent Google Maps, and had to sanction its usage of my location for navigation purposes.
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Google may track customer locations on Android and through company applications and services even if users turn off Location tracking.
As always, it's arguable whether Google is making the terms of this bargain explicit enough for us to make informed decisions about whether to opt in or out.
"There are a number of different ways that Google may use location to improve people's experience, including Location History, Web and App Activity, and through device-level Location Services", a Google spokesperson said in a statement to the AP.
Google is morphing into the helicopter parent we'd always feared it would; its location tracking persists even when users have explicitly told it not to, discovers AP News.
Google representatives told the AP this location tracking can be disabled completely by turning off the "Web & App Activity" feature; find that setting here.More news: Thomas Markle fears he won't see royal daughter Meghan again: Sun
The AP learned of the issue from K. Shankari, a graduate researcher at UC Berkeley who studies the commuting patterns of volunteers in order to help urban planners.
A researcher at UC Berkeley noticed something unusual when she had Location History disabled.
Huge tech companies are under increasing scrutiny over their data practices, following a series of privacy scandals at Facebook and new data-privacy rules recently adopted by the European Union.
If you want to go one step further, tap on Manage Timeline at the bottom of the screen. Check out our overview of Google's Activity Controls here. Ad buyers can target ads to specific locations - say, a mile radius around a particular landmark - and typically have to pay more to reach this narrower audience.More news: Iran’s Khamenei blames mismanagement more than United States sanctions for economic woes