Google at risk of £3bn fine over location tracking

Google admission it tracks user's location even if they turn setting off violates 2011 settlement

Google admits to collecting user’s Location History data

Rather than changing the behavior of the setting so it did what people would expect it to do, the company has instead chosen to simply update its help pages to make it clear how misleading it is being.

The page now clarifies that Google still tracks their location even if they turn the setting off.

Here's how you can update your Google location settings on a desktop to limit what Google collects from you.

Google acknowledged it has been rewriting its own pages, saying in a statement: "We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centers".

Google has not changed its location-tracking practices since the investigation was published.

The AP investigation found that even with Location History turned off, Google stores user location when, for instance, the Google Maps app is opened, or when users conduct Google searches that aren't related to location. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.

While a step in the right direction, Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist, believes that Google is still trying to create confusion among users by having multiple settings for storing location information of users. Automated searches of the local weather on some Android phones also store the phone's whereabouts.

"Location History is a Google product that is entirely opt in, and users have the controls to edit, delete, or turn it off at any time".

When paused, it will prevent activity on any device from being saved to your account.

From that help page: "If your Android usage & diagnostics setting is turned on, your device will still share information with Google, like battery level, how often you use your device and apps, and system errors". Turning that setting off that would in fact stop recording location data. "When you turn off Location History for your Google Account, it's off for all devices associated with that Google Account".

Critics say Google's insistence on tracking its users' locations stems from its drive to boost advertising revenue.

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