SAN FRANCISCO: Google clarified how it tracks users even if they've been disabled a “location history” setting, revising a help page that erroneously said turning off.
The change came after an Associated Press. Google has not changed its location-tracking practice in that regard.
But its help page for the Location History setting just states: “It also acknowledges that” some location can be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps. “
Previously, the page stated:” With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored. “
The AP observed that the change occurred midday Thursday, taken earlier in the day.
The AP investigation found that even with the Location History turned off, Google stores user location when, for instance, the Google Maps app is opened, or when users conduct Google searches that are not related to location. Automated searches of the local weather on Android phones.
In a Thursday statement to the AP, Google said: “The statement is against Google's statement.”
The statement contrasted with a statement Google sent to the AP several days ago that said in part, “We provide clear descriptions of these tools.”
Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist and former chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission step in the right direction. But it does not fix the underlying confusion Google created by storing location information in multiple ways, he said.
“The notion of having two distinct ways in which you control how your location is stored is inherently confusing,” he said Thursday. “
Huge tech companies are under increasing scrutiny over their data practices, the following of a series of privacy scandals at Facebook and new data-privacy rules. Last year, the business news site. Quartz, even if all location services were off. Google changed the practice and insisted it.
Critics say Google's insistence on tracking its users' locations stems from its drive to boost advertising revenue. It can charge advertisers more if they want to narrow ad delivery to people who have visited certain locations.
Several observers also noted that Google does not require consumers to protect their privacy.
Google agreed to that order in response to an FTC investigation of its now-defunct social networking service Google Buzz, which is the agency of the most popular Gmail contacts.
A year later, Google was fined US $ 22.5mil (RM92.34mil) for breaking the agreement after it served some users of Apple's Safari browser.
The FTC has declined to say whether it had begun investigating. – AP