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Big Google Maps Location Privacy Update Will Revolutionize My App Usage
Big Google Maps Location Privacy Update Will Revolutionize My App Usage

Technology

Big Google Maps Location Privacy Update Will Revolutionize My App Usage

Big Google Maps Location Privacy Update Will Revolutionize My App Usage

I’ve been an iPhone user for a long time, and Google Maps is my go-to for navigation. While Apple Maps has significantly improved and is my second most-used app, I still primarily rely on Google Maps when I need to explore my surroundings. It’s my favorite Google product and the only way I use Google Search these days.

I’ll admit that I’ve made things harder for myself by using Google Maps all these years without taking full advantage of its features. I never saved my timeline, even when it was an option, and I always used Google Maps without signing into my accounts. As a result, I’ve missed out on the benefits of saving favorite places and locations.

It all comes down to a matter of principle. Google gathers an excessive amount of data, and the topic of location data, in particular, has been a major concern for the company.

Last December, Google caught me off guard with a significant privacy initiative focused on Google Maps location data, prompting me to rethink my position. Google announced that it would no longer collect location data and link it to user accounts. Now, nearly six months later, Google is beginning to implement this change. Going forward, Google Maps location data will remain on the device, a shift that will likely impact how I utilize the app.

According to The Verge, Google has begun notifying Google Maps users that they have until December 1st to store their timeline data locally on their devices. After this date, Google will commence deleting location history data from its servers. This announcement prompts me to consider saving Google Maps location data directly on my iPhone from that point onward.

I am aware that Google apps and services will continue to gather certain location data. This is inherent to how the internet operates, and it’s not something that can be altered. Any provider of internet services will have some level of knowledge regarding your location based on the internet service providers you utilize to access their services. Additionally, monitoring the locations from which one’s Google account has been accessed serves as a security measure.

However, completely eliminating Google Maps location history from the web is still a significant victory in my opinion. This is the type of highly detailed location data that Google previously had access to, which could have been utilized for targeted advertising purposes.

Once more, I’m certain that Google will utilize any general location information from users to provide ads relevant to their approximate whereabouts. This doesn’t concern me.

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I understand the clear drawbacks in this situation. I’m confident that many Google Maps users appreciate the timeline feature and have been utilizing it for years. They will likely continue to do so by storing that information on their devices.

However, there is a catch. The location history data will stay associated with the specific device it’s saved on. There’s no method to synchronize it with other devices. Currently, you can access the location history on any device where you’ve loaded Google Maps.

Another immediate issue arises if a smartphone is lost or stolen. In such a scenario, all digital data on the device, including Google Maps location information, would be lost. It’s essential to remember to back up Google Maps data, and Google provides the option to back it up to the cloud in an encrypted manner.

Regardless of your sentiments regarding Google’s new strategy concerning Google Maps location data, a decision must be made by December. If no action is taken and Timeline information is stored on your Google account, Google will transfer data from the past 90 days and subsequently erase all other data.

Regarding my own approach, I’m likely to begin storing location data on my iPhone now that Google is prepared to implement this significant privacy alteration.

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