Google to start permanently deleting users’ location history

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Google will delete everything it knows astir users’ antecedently visited locations, nan institution has said, a twelvemonth aft it committed to reducing nan magnitude of individual information it stores astir users.

The company’s “timeline” characteristic – antecedently known arsenic Location History – will still activity for those who take to usage it, letting them scroll backmost done perchance decades of recreation history to cheque wherever they were astatine a circumstantial time.

But each nan information required to make nan characteristic activity will beryllium saved locally, to their ain phones aliases tablets, pinch nary of it being stored connected nan company’s servers.

In an email sent by nan institution to Maps users, seen by nan Guardian, Google said they person until 1 December to prevention each their aged journeys earlier it is deleted for ever.

Users will still beryllium capable to backmost up their information if they’re worried astir losing it aliases want to sync it crossed devices but that will nary longer hap by default.

The institution is besides reducing nan default magnitude of clip that location history is stored for. Now, it will statesman to delete past locations aft conscionable 3 months, down from a erstwhile default of a twelvemonth and a half.

In a blogpost announcing nan changes, Google didn’t mention a circumstantial logic for nan updates, beyond suggesting that users whitethorn want to delete accusation from their location history if they are “planning a astonishment day party”.

“Your location accusation is personal,” nan institution added. “We’re committed to keeping it safe, backstage and successful your control. Remember: Google Maps ne'er sells your information to anyone, including advertisers.”

But nan institution has travel nether expanding unit to thief users sphere their location privateness successful nan look of fierce rule enforcement efforts to weaponise its stored information.

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So-called “dragnet” surveillance requests, for instance, person compelled Google to manus complete accusation astir each personification successful a peculiar region astatine a peculiar time, needfully including galore pinch nary different nexus to a crime beyond a ping from a GPS signal.

The clashes came aft nan US ultimate court’s overturning of Roe v Wade, which had guaranteed nan correct to abortion for Americans. The institution committed to deleting accusation astir searches for abortion clinics to protect women from being criminalised based connected their hunt history.

But a Guardian investigation later that year revealed that nan company’s Location History still stored capable accusation astir a researcher’s movements to uncover precisely which branch of Planned Parenthood had been visited and when, moreover marking nan location pinch a pin – though it wasn’t explicitly stored arsenic a clinic.

Source theguardian