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Google: Yes, We Still Track Location If You Turn Off 'Location History'

Tech giant clarifies the setting days after Associated Press investigation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 16, 2018 4:15 PM CDT
In this Aug. 8, 2018, file photo a mobile phone displays a user's travels using Google Maps in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

(Newser) – Google has revised a help page that erroneously described how its "Location History" setting works, clarifying for users that it still tracks their location even if they turn the setting off, the AP reports. On Monday, an Associated Press investigation revealed that several Google apps and websites store user location even if users have turned off Location History. Google has not changed that practice. But its help page now states: "This setting does not affect other location services on your device." It also acknowledges that "some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps." Previously, the page stated: "with Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored."

The AP observed that the change occurred midday Thursday, three days after the AP's initial report. In a statement to the AP, Google said: "We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centers." (Read more Google stories.)

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