The Latest: Lawmakers vow action on Google location tracking
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on Google’s location-tracking settings (all times local):
Lawmakers are vowing to step up their oversight of the data collection practices of giant technology companies after an Associated Press investigation found Google continues to collect user location data even if they’ve used a privacy setting that claims to prevent it.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia said in a statement to the AP that if a Google user disables the setting, called Location History, it is “perfectly reasonable for that person to expect that apps will not continue tracking their location.”
Warner said the fact it does not is a “frustratingly common” experience for technology users. He’s calling for policies that give users more control over their data and levy stiff penalties on firms that violate user trust and expectations.
Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey said Congress needs to take action to protect consumers and is calling for public hearings.
Google records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.
An Associated Press investigation shows that using Google services on Android devices and iPhones allows the company to record your whereabouts as you go about your day, even if you’ve used privacy settings that are supposed to prevent it from doing so.
Google stores time-stamped location data when its Maps app is simply opened. Automatic, daily weather updates pinpoint roughly where you are. And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like “chocolate chip cookies,” are pinned with precise coordinates down to the square foot to your Google account.
The privacy issue affects some two billion users of Android devices and hundreds of millions of worldwide iPhone users that rely on Google for maps or search.