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Google Maps has been recording where we go for years, and now this data belongs to us more than ever.

Google Maps has been recording where we go for years, and now this data belongs to us more than ever.


Google Maps location history is a tool like any other, so you can either take it as a negative thing that Google has given us hope, or you can take it as a positive thing and think about how great it is to be able to see the itinerary you followed during your vacation.

This data can be extremely useful, and Google already gives you a way to automatically delete it if you don't want it to be recorded — in fact, it launched Ingnito mode for Google Maps in 2019, and more recently introduced even stronger changes to control your location data and protect your privacy.

This location history, disabled by default, enhances Google Maps Chronology (Timeline in English), which has previously acted as a tool to manage your history: for example, you can delete the Timeline or disable it completely, but you can also edit it if you notice an error in the routes or places you've visited.

Google is now offering new privacy controls for users who have location history enabled, and soon that information will be stored on your device instead of on Google servers in the cloud.

This gives users full control over their data, allowing them to delete it in whole or in part at any time as well as activate or deactivate features whenever they want.

When you first enable Location History, the option to automatically delete this data after three months is set by default – any information older than that is automatically deleted, transparently to you.

The difference from the previous configuration is significant because the previous configuration was 18 months. Nevertheless, if you want to store this data for a longer period of time, you can do so in the tool controls.

Soon we'll have more control over the specific places we've been to. Google Maps lets you search for any site and, if you want, filter out related searches, addresses, or visits to that location.

There are now more options for the blue dot that shows your location on the map, and touching it on the screen will show you if Location History or Timeline settings are enabled and let you change those parameters from there.

These kinds of changes allow users to disable this kind of recording of their activities if they wish, and seem to be aimed at giving users more benefits and more control over their privacy. The company hasn't done a very good job so far, but these measures certainly seem like a step in the right direction… and there's nothing more to say.

It's important to note that when you delete data from the cloud in Google Maps, it's deleted forever, so it might not be a bad idea to download a copy of that data in case you want to access it in the future. This move to a new model where data is stored on your phone instead of the cloud is great news for anyone who was concerned about privacy.

By Zataka | It may be time to move to a privacy-focused browser. Here are the top 7:




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