Google has always been at the forefront of building & bettering products by collecting so much data from its users over the span of the last two decades. But there has always suspicions among its users as to whether this is good or a move towards technological autonomy.
One major aspect of this data tracking is when Google Maps tracks the location of user and even keeps a history of it all time.
So, if you are someone who is paranoid about the government taking control of technology companies and their data, you can stop it by doing two things.
- Disable Location Tracking
- Delete Existing Location History
How to Disable Location Tracking?
There are two places to do this. 1) Google My Activity 2) Google Maps (Web, Android, iOS)
I personally use the first option to since its super easy and it gets applied everywhere else. So, its super unnecessary to learn how to do it in each and every device.
- Go to myactivity.google.com. Its a site which has all the information regarding your own personal activity using a Google account like Location History, Web & App Activity & also Youtube History.
- Once you are there, you will find three different options as seen below. Choose Location History. As you can see its enabled in the screen below.
- Click on Location History and then in the screen that appears, You could disable the option and it will stop the tracking once for all. I remember doing it back in 2017 and it has been peaceful ever since.
How to Delete Existing Location History?
To delete all the location history ever tracked by Google, you could follow the steps of Disabling the location tracking as mentioned above.
- Choose Manage Activity in the screen that see above. This will open a Google Maps site which has all the data required that is ever tracked for the account that has been logged in.
- In the screen that appears, as you can see the red dots indicate all the trips and travels you have done in the time period that is specified in the filter at the top left corner of the screen.
- To delete all the location history ever saved in Google’s servers, Look for the black Delete icon at the bottom right corner of the screen. Once you find it, click on it.
- It will open up a confirmation dialog box asking you to confirm whether you really want to delete the data from Google’s Servers.
Be sure to think twice before going ahead and permanently deleting it because once its done, it cannot be undo and that locationd data is gone forever (or is it !?!).
You can do this also by pretty much doing the same thing in the Google Maps app. Im showing you the steps to do it in iOS & I’m sure its similar in Android as well.
- Open Google Maps in your iOS device. Click on the profile picture icon at the top right corner.
- In the Dropdown that appears, Choose Your Data in Maps.
- In the screen that appears, choose to disable Location Tracking.
- Similar to How you disable location tracking, go to Manage Activity and then clear the delete all the location history ever done in the Google Maps.
Also read: How to Drop a Pin on Google Maps
Is this really necessary?
Yes & No. There are two ways to see it. Either you give the data to Google and they use it better their reserach and products so that it comes back to you as better user experience or they give it to the Government as conspiracy guys say and they use it for evil.
But do you need your location history? Not really. I have been using Google Maps for years and still haven’t found one single real purpose of going back to your location history.