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Updated December 17th, 2023 at 16:41 IST

Securing Your Privacy: Google Maps Shifts Location History Control to Users

Google Maps puts you in control! Safeguard your privacy with the latest update, empowering users to manage and secure Location History access

Reported by: Garvit Parashar
Edited by: Garvit Parashar
Google Maps Shifts Location History Control to Users
Google Maps Shifts Location History Control to Users | Image:Unsplash
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Google Maps is introducing a revised Location History policy, wherein users' Location Timelines will now be stored on their devices rather than on Google's servers. The company is also implementing new encryption tools and auto-delete settings to strengthen the user's privacy.

By default, Location History is turned off, addressing privacy concerns. Users who choose to enable this feature will have their Location Timeline saved locally on their devices, departing from the previous practice of storing it on Google's servers.

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In a significant change starting next year, Google Maps users opting to record Location History will witness their Timeline being stored on their devices. If users opt to back up location data to the cloud, Google will automatically encrypt the data to ensure its confidentiality.

The shift in the storage location of the Location Timeline is expected to eliminate the possibility of Google providing location information to authorities through geofence warrants. This controversial tool, allowing authorities to obtain location data of Maps users in the proximity of a crime, will no longer be applicable, as the data will be either locally stored or encrypted in the cloud.

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In an effort to further enhance Maps privacy, Google has announced that new users enabling Location History will have the auto-delete function set to a default period of 3 months, compared to the previous default of 18 months.

These changes are set to be gradually implemented in the Maps app for both Android and iOS throughout the coming year, marking a significant step towards reinforcing user privacy.

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Published December 17th, 2023 at 16:41 IST

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