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August 14, 2018

Whatever You Do, Google's Following You

Google tracks its users movements -- even when they turn off (or think they turn off) Location History.

You can't opt out of Google's Panopticon. Except by destroying any google product you own.

An AP investigation found that Google saves your location history even if you’ve paused "Location History" on mobile devices....

Storing your minute-by-minute travels carries privacy risks and has been used by police to determine the location of suspects -- such as a warrant that police in Raleigh, North Carolina, served on Google last year to find devices near a murder scene. So the company lets you “pause” a setting called Location History.

Google says that will prevent the company from remembering where you've been. Google's support page on the subject states: "You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored."

That isn't true. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking. (It's possible, although laborious, to delete it .)

For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are. And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like "chocolate chip cookies," or "kids science kits," pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude -- accurate to the square foot --and save it to your Google account.

...

Storing location data in violation of a user's preferences is wrong, said Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist and former chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission's enforcement bureau...

"If you're going to allow users to turn off something called 'Location History,' then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off," Mayer said. "That seems like a pretty straightforward position to have."

Cue the Corporatist Holy Rollers of Conservatism, Inc. to lecture us that this is a priiiivate company so it can do whatever it wants and you can't say a damn thing about it and only a Deplorable would be so boorish to object to a Holy Corporation really exploring the studio space of the Holy Corporation's First Amendment rights.

Oh and PS all the think tanks they get paid a lot of money for doing very little work just so happen to be funded by corporate interests.

But take no notice of that!


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posted by Ace of Spades at 06:53 PM

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