There are so many reasons why you didn’t read that terms and conditions notice for that app you downloaded: it was too long; you assumed it was fine, since everyone else was using it; you had a hot date; you were hungry; or you would literally do anything else.
Unfortunately, blindly using apps usually means you subscribe to default settings, and in the case of Google Maps, that means consenting to an enabled location history.
What that means is, everywhere you go, everyone you see and everything you do is tracked. Did you know? It’s basically 1984′s haunting conclusions come to life.
Don’t worry, there is good news. You can put an end to this, unless you don’t mind having your every movement monitored. Our gut says that there are very few people who would willingly consent to that, so we’ve got the remedy.
The Loop: 1; Big Brother: 0.
What you need
- An Internet connection
- The Google account you sign into on your phone (make sure it is signed in, whether on desktop or mobile).
What you do
- Do not panic. First, check here to see if you’ve got location history enabled. Click the gear icon in the top-right corner, and click ‘History settings’ from the drop menu.
- Click the ‘Account History’ tab–you will be directed to a page with a ‘Places You’ve Been’ banner.
- Look at the button underneath the image. If it says ‘Pause,’ you’re being tracked. If it says ‘Enable,’ you’ve cut Google off.
- If it says ‘Pause,’ click the button. A notice will come up that will tell you why you shouldn’t disable this service add-on, but click it. You want to cut them off, remember?
- Sit back, relax and feel a little better about going places. You wouldn’t like a real stranger following you around, so why should you be okay with Google doing that?
- But wait, there’s one more thing you’ll need to do. Pausing disables ongoing tracking, but it doesn’t delete your previous history. Return to your location history dashboard here and click ‘delete all history’ underneath the calendar widget. You will once again be prompted to reconsider, because this action cannot be undone. Just remember that you want this, and click.