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Google keeps tracking you even when you specifically tell it not to

     
6:40 am on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google has admitted that its option to "pause" the gathering of your location data doesnít apply to its Maps and Search apps Ė which will continue to track you even when you specifically choose to halt such monitoring.

Researchers at Princeton University in the US this week confirmed on both Android handhelds and iPhones that even if you go into your smartphone's settings and turn off "location history", Google continues to snoop on your whereabouts and save it to your personal profile.


[theregister.co.uk...]

This is of interest only if you as a webmaster rely on this technology for day to day use. Your users might not be happy...

Plan for any blowback down the line ... note: I am not saying there IS a current problem, only that there IS a problem.
6:45 am on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Nice.
7:14 am on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@SeoCollection, welcome to WW! Are these tracking services part of your web plan?
7:52 am on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Maps obviously track your location. That's a given.

Most Apps also track your location to stay relevant to the info you need where you are.

Apps from official app stores are transparent with what they track or collect when you install them.

I don't see tracking as inherently bad; it's how that information is used that's the important thing.
7:57 am on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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"it's how that information is used that's the important thing."

Yes, we can rest assured that Google, "Don't do evil." ;)
8:06 am on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Well it would be pretty useless for Google Maps to not know where you are.
1:20 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Missing the point of the OP ... they still do it when you EXPRESSLY SAY NO. That is inherently WRONG.
11:03 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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That is inherently WRONG
Right & Wrong are moral issues. They do not apply with technology.

Is the Opt-Out working as described? Maybe not. From the Register article...
The mistake people make is wrongly assuming that turning off an option called "location history" actually turns off the gathering of location data
So the writers admit that it is "people" who are making the mistake.

Could Google be more explicit is helping "people" understand, probably yes. But people need to also use their head. If they want customized search (and time and time again they have said Yes) they should know that it requires search history. If they want to use Maps to navigate across town, they should know that it requires location tracking.
11:52 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The problem is "they" , "the people" are "understanding it wrong"..
Yes!
That's it!
That Google might be deliberately vague and misleading perchance even evil ?..
Nah..no way..it's "the people"..

The problem is always "the people"..

When they came for "the people"...
Right & Wrong are moral issues. They do not apply with technology.

You might want to rethink that phrase, there are echoes of Nuremburg in there..
12:02 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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...there are echoes of Nuremburg in there
If that's what your mind comes up with, that's on you.

Researchers at Princeton University in the US this week confirmed on both Android handhelds and iPhones that even if you go into your smartphone's settings and turn off "location history", Google continues to snoop on your whereabouts and save it to your personal profile.
I would not think that turning of History has any connection to whether data is collected. But I guess it makes a good article topic.
12:39 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Ah..it's the person ( singular unit of "the people" ) 's fault, for thinking wrong..

re technology and morality, you might want to read some science fiction, or some modern philosophers, or some history books covering the 1930s, 40s and 50s , I'd suggest some Asimov to begin , the three laws of robotics would seem to be a good starting place..

Google say that they like ( rate highly ) a "good user experience" ( usually abbreviated to "good UX" ) and that they dislike misleading or ambiguous sites or sites which attempt to "trick" users..Their actions over this tracking when told specifically not to ( and their hiding away the other tracking that they do under obscure unrelated parts of their android GUI settings ) would appear to be precisely what they dislike when done by others..

That does not surprise me..by their past actions they have made it crystal clear that they have always considered that their "C suite" does not consider themselves to be subject to the same moral rules as their users ( they may even ( it would not surprise me either ) refer to us as "plebs"*).. we are as ants to their intellects, and they know what is best for us and them, we should just play / use the shiny toys and services that they provide and not worry our "lesser being"** heads about what data they are gathering and what they are doing with it ..
* and ** possibly, given the founders backgrounds, they may think of their users ( but would never ever be caught saying so ) as лу́мпен-пролетариа́т ( Russian phrase, which may not show her given this forums limitations on characters ) or lumpenproletariat..Eric would ( if he thinks of us at all ) probably use "plebs"..all words for those whom the "elites" have considered that morality is not applicable when applying technology for the good of all..especially the good of the "elites"..
12:57 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Right and Wrong=Morality?

There's also comjonsense

Square Peg v Round Hole
Zipper in Front Not Back
Open Door First Before Walking Through

G has deliberately made it nearly impossible to defeat their tracking EVEN WHEN REQUESTED TO DO SO.

Truth v Lie (by Omission)

Moral? Perhaps. Or it could simply be "we don't care, phool!:
1:23 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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it would be pretty useless for Google Maps to not know where you are.
Useless for whom? There are not that many parts of the world that involve disputed borders which have to be displayed differently depending on where the user lives. If I want to see where Petty France is located, itís none of their ### business where I myself am located. And if I want to know how to get from Point A to Point B, I will identify both points.

it's the person ( singular unit of "the people" ) 's fault, for thinking wrong
Well, sure. Itís like blaming an accident on Human Error ... even though, by bizarre coincidence, the Human Error--whatever it may be--occurs far more often with Product A than with Product B.
1:55 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Useless for whom? There are not that many parts of the world that involve disputed borders which have to be displayed differently depending on where the user lives
Not my point. I was commenting about GPS driving navigation that uses Google Maps. That's what many (most?) mobile users do with it. Your location is necessary for that to work. In fact, your phone doesn't work to well if you have location turned off.
5:27 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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You still miss the point that when a user requests that "feature" to be turned off g is NOT DOING IT. All the rest does not count as soon as someone says STOP or NO. (Note: a lot of rapists get imprisoned for doing exactly what g is doing when told NO)
5:35 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't miss your point tangor. You've said it multiple times. I just don't agree that it applies to all features. Even your article points that out.

Turning off History is not disabling Location. Turning off Search History is not disabling that search data from being applied to return customized results.
7:59 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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"I was commenting about GPS driving navigation that uses Google Maps. That's what many (most?) mobile users do with it."

I have a GPS in my car. I never use Google Maps when driving. Most modern cars have GPS and all but the most basic will in future.

I most often use Google Maps to look at walking routes and trails near my home and to see what's around potential destinations <before> travelling. There's no real need for Google to know where I am thinking of going to ... unless of course they want to fire adverts at me for hotels there. ;)
8:01 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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... but at least it got a discussion going here. Well done Tangor. :)
8:24 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have a GPS in my car. I never use Google Maps when driving. Most modern cars have GPS and all but the most basic will in future.
My last couple cars had factory GPS... always out of date unless I paid for updates.

My current car has WiFi & an Android OS on 1tb SSD /w 7.6" touch screen in dash. I have about 30 apps, one being Google Maps with GPS. I like it better since it's free, accurate and always up to date.

However the popularity of Google GPS really wasn't the issue, only that it uses location... which most apps do.

I don't buy into the big Google conspiracy that some here like to rant about. It's simple, either use Google products, or don't (that includes Search.) Constant complaining accomplishes nothing.
9:53 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It isn't ranting when one points out that Google is lying, that is telling the truth..however much you might wish that no one mentioned it.re either using or not using Google products..kind of difficult ( but possible via no script ) when websites use Ganalytics and / or make "calls" ( such as "ajax calls"like this one does, or "font calls" ) to Google properties, rather than hosting their assets themselves..

History ( and the present ) shows us that massive data gathering on a population , such as their location at any given moment, and what they are interested in, what they read etc, does not end well for the subjects of that surveillance , it is never being done for the benefit of the subjects..It only requires any government to insist upon having access ( either publicly or secretly ) to that data for it to be used to imprison, coerce, or destroy the subjects of such data gathering..for the crime of "wrong thinking", or being part of the "wrong group" or "background".

"Couldn't happen where I live" you say ?

It gets nearer every day, and easier to do, every time someone accepts or promotes tracking in return for "free" or "shiny"..or "convenient"..

The frog boiling began a while ago, some of the frogs are under the delusion that is is all one giant jacuzzi for their benefit and entertainment..
 

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