It was a difficult month for Google. A new report from Digital Content Next reveals some disturbing news: Android phones send data to Google at an alarming rate even when idle. In fact, the study found that an Android phone "submitted location information to Google 340 times in 24 hours," with the Chrome browser only running in the background. That's 10 times more data than iPhones give up.
If that's not enough to scare you, this report follows a class action lawsuit after Google has been accused of not being clear about how, when, and where it tracks your location. In response to an AP report showing that Android phones were tracking location even with location history turned off, Google changed some of the phrasing on its privacy page to be clearer, but it does not appear to change its tactics , [1
9659002] So, if Google's tracking betrayal annoys you, you can do something about it – and you do not have to completely remove Google from your life to do so (as tantalizing as that sounds). You may not know it, but you have a surprising amount of control over your Google Account as long as you know where to find all the switches. Here's what you need to know about Google's privacy settings: where to find it, what to shut down, and how it affects your phone.
Google privacy review
No matter which Android phone you're running, Android version running, you can customize the privacy settings for all your devices just by going to the Settings app. Go to the Settings app and you'll find either a Google tab or a Accounts tab with a Google option. Once you find it, click Google Account or your email address and you will be redirected to your full account page.
This page is accessible on any device or on the Internet, and it's fairly easy to navigate. At the top you will see a box named Check your privacy settings leading to the Privacy Checkup . Touch Getting Started to get an overview of your current settings. By default, everything is enabled, but there are several levels that can be turned off (or paused when Google selects them).
Web & App Activity
What is it?
This is the attitude That made Google so much trouble. Regardless of location history (see below), Web & App Activity will save your searches, places, and other Google activity in your Google Account. These include browser and Google app searches, as well as location data in Maps and Assistant queries. Google says it uses this data to "provide personalized Google services, such as faster searches, better referrals and useful ads – both online and offline."
How do I turn it off?
Tap The button has been activated and the switch on the next page turned from blue to gray. Then tap Pause when prompted.
How does this affect my phone?
The overall Google experience on your phone will not be that different, but the things you're looking for may take longer. Google uses the web activity data to find out what and where you are looking to automatically complete search queries, personalize your search results, and generally deliver smarter results. So you're looking for a network without getting results that are tailored to your tastes. But all your requests work the same way.
Maps is a different story. You can not set home and work addresses, and if you have previously set them, they will be deleted. However, if you've turned on Location History, Google Maps will still remember your home and work goals under the Driving tab. Another side effect is the Google Home. If you ask for a smart device like a light bulb, the assistant will tell you that it does not yet know how to do it.
I do not want to turn it off. Can I restrict that?
Below the toggle button, you'll see a checkbox asking if you'd like to include "Chrome history and activity of websites, apps, and devices that use Google services." I'll be tracking it to at least apps and Restrict sites owned by Google.
How do I remove old data?
There is a button labeled Manage Activity which will show you a running list of your app usage and searches while you're signed in to your Google Account. It's breathtakingly comprehensive, yet easy to navigate, with a simple breakdown by app, time, date, and topic. If you want to remove one of them, you can delete a specific item or a whole day search by tapping the button with the three dots to the right of each tab and selecting Delete . But once it's gone, it does not exist anymore.
What is it?
As the name implies, location history is a timeline of the places you were. It's different from the location services on your phone, which is a separate switch in a separate tab. They work together, however. Google's Location History uses your phone's GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular networks to create a map of where your phone is traveling. This feature is used by the Google app, Google Maps, and other apps to provide improved searches and itineraries, as well as better search results and recommendations.
How do I turn that off?
Tap Enable the button to the right of "Location History" and then Setup to manage the next screen. There you will see a list of all the devices you own and which share their location. You can choose to disable the device for specific devices or to crack the entire device with the top button.