Another Navigational Aid? Or a threat to privacy?

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 09:56
ThreadID: 111225 Views:2308 Replies:5 FollowUps:8
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If you have a Google account, and a smartphone, Brother Google has his eye on you, tracking your movements every 45 seconds. I only just found this out, and when I checked on it to see if it was correct, found that my travels in the last few days were dead accurate.

Very handy if you are travelling and your family want to see where you are and where you've been. It has time stamps to show when you were there.

There is also a sinister side, but if we let that worry us too much we will never step outside the house.

Google Location History Link

In fairness to Dr Google, it is possible to turn it off at your phone, and it is also possible to delete all or part of your tracking history.

Methinks George Orwell was onto something :)
(CueX-Files theme).


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Reply By: OBJ - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 09:58

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 09:58
I meant to mention .. you need to be logged into your Google account to view it.

AnswerID: 546482

Follow Up By: Tim F3 - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 11:31

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 11:31
Can this feature be utilised to find people that may be lost ???
FollowupID: 834212

Follow Up By: OBJ - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 15:52

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 15:52
Hi Tim. I don't know much about it other then finding out about it this morning, however I am sure it could be used to at least go to an approximate location if someone was lost. Everything helps when looking for someone who is lost.

I don't have much to worry about, but others may feel differently about having their tracks "tracked".

FollowupID: 834226

Follow Up By: wizzer73 - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 15:53

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 15:53
Also good to help find a lost/stolen phone.

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Follow Up By: SDG - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 19:01

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 19:01
Not much different to a facebook account.
Often see posts from people where FB has automatically logged them in from a location.
eg, Billy Bob just checked into Hungry Jacks Yass.

Good for the local burglar to know

Messenger has location where message sent from.

Can of course turn all these features off.

And people wonder why I don't use a mobile phone (apart from getting a headache when using one) or pay things electronic. Cash only.

I like my privacy.
FollowupID: 834239

Reply By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 14:36

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 14:36
During our recent "lap of the block" I used our 4G modem to log in and checked emails, future possible caravan parks and general tour info.
What I have always noticed was that when we are at home in WA first map page that opened up with Google maps was centred on the Perth region. When we crossed into the NT the page would open up with Adelaide centred. When we crossed into QLD Brisbane opened up, and so on through the rest of Oz. Nothing I was doing as far as making changes other than my physical location.
Also I have noticed with this site, the ads that appear to the RHS, just coincidently, reflect whatever I have been researching for possible purchase whether that be vehicles, caravan accessories or articles such as sat phones rear cameras or whatever.

All this is just a coincidence of course.


AnswerID: 546489

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 22:42

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 22:42
Since using Google as a browser – I too find that it remembers where you have been.
As you say it will promote similar items that you have previously logged on to.
It’s not a coincident – If it stores this data – it could/would also store bank account details too.
FollowupID: 834255

Follow Up By: Member - Grundle (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 20:30

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 20:30
Hi You can only turn the add reserch memory off on that add that pops up,its a pain as you keep getting other adds.Not that you were talking about that anyway.

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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 20:27

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 20:27
Google says its purpose is to enhance search results and provide info relevant to your location. All very benign, seemingly. I, too, like my privacy and switched it off.

If you want enhanced search results at your location you can always switch it on for the search and off when you've finished. Me - I leave it off all the time.

It only works if there's mobile coverage. I'm not sure if it caches your GPS position info when out of coverage and then does a bulk upload when it can. I suspect it does. When I discovered all this and checked my account I could see no gaps in my travels.

If you turn the feature off you can still use your phone's GPS for navigation - it won't be tracked.


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AnswerID: 546516

Reply By: Steve M (SA - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 22:40

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 22:40
I assume that those of you that see the history are using Android phones? No history when I checked but I am using an iPhone.

AnswerID: 546524

Follow Up By: OBJ - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 08:20

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 08:20
HI Steve.

I think it is a Google thing, and if Google works on Apple gear it may be able to do the tracking. Luckily if you don't like it you can turn it off and/or delete your history.

I have a vague recollection of police tracking a mobile phone which they used to arrest and charge a couple of IRA guys some time ago. They were able to trace their travels from the info that comes on as you pass from mobile tower to mobile tower. Whilst this is not Google, I am sure the same technology applies here.

I guess if they want to track you, they will find a way. They'd die of boredom tracking me, I'm afraid.

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 18:17

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 18:17
Both Apple and Google do exactly the same thing. I posted about this about 9 months ago with links on how to see your history for both devices. My friend looked back 4 years on his Iphone, I did the same on my Android.
Scary huh?
FollowupID: 834386

Reply By: Member - johnat - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 22:07

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 22:07
Of course, and there's a need to remind people of this, Google ONLY knows wghere you are if you use the phone for data.
Time was that a phone was ONLY used to talk to people.
If I need data, I'll use the laptop, not the phone! My phone is NOT a data device!

Seriously, people, if you MUST use your phone for data, do it safely! Turn off stuff that will track you! Turn it OFF when you do not need the data!

Obviously, aain, the google tracking will only work when you are within the footprint of a data network (which is rare beyond the cities and major highways - even as little as a km from a major highway in some places!).
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