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How to turn off Google’s location tracking

Turning off location tracking gives you more privacy at the expense of Google’s personalized experience.

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Image: KnowTechie

In today’s age of internet advertising, we people have become the products. Many major platforms and websites, like Facebook and Google, thrive off of utilizing our data. They build profiles of individuals by tracking their movements, both physical and on the internet, and sell them to advertisers so they can better target their ads.

One of the best ways that these platforms build user profiles is by tracking physical location, straight through your smartphone. And one of the biggest platforms that do this is Google. By tracking users that are signed into their Google Account, the company is able to build substantial profiles on all of its users.

While Google certainly profits off of the data gathered from tracking its user’s physical location, it also helps give a more personalized and practical experience. Using location data, the company serves up relevant search results for businesses and locations close to you, instead of a wide variety of locations around the world.

Still, users should have the option to opt-out of this tracking, and thankfully, the company makes it relatively simple.

How to turn off Google’s location tracking completely

With nearly 1.5 billion users accounts, there’s a good chance that you have a Google account that is tracking your physical location whenever possible. Fortunately, you can turn it off completely. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Head to Google.com and log in at the top right

  2. Click the Account icon at the top and select Manage your Google Account how to hide your location on google

  3. Select the Data & personalization tab on the left

  4. Select Web & App Activity how to hide location information google

  5. Toggle the option off with the slider

  6. Confirm

  7. Repeat the process for the Location History option in the Data & personalization tab

And that will turn off Google’s location tracking completely. The web & app activity option will stop data tracking while using a Google app or website, while the location history will pause any passive tracking that happens just by taking your device out with you.

Using apps like Google Maps will still require your location, but they won’t be allowed to store any data obtained during use.

As a reminder, disabling these features will greatly limit the capabilities that some Google apps have. You will no longer get relevant search results or personalized ads for businesses or locations near you. The company’s tracking is why it is able to cultivate the personalized user experience that we’ve all grown accustomed to.

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