Google knows a lot about you and, if you use Google Maps or other Google apps, it stores a copy of everywhere you go. I recently performed Google’s “Privacy Checkup” to learn a bit more about what it knows about me, and was pretty surprised at the level of detail it had on my exact locations.
I picked a random date: April 16, 2019. It knew everywhere I went, including that I took Route 95 to our office in northern New Jersey and that I arrived at 7:58 a.m. It knew that at 1:02 p.m. I drove to Jersey City and took a train in to Manhattan to the New York Stock Exchange before returning home at 4:38 p.m. And it has a copy of the pictures I took at each location.
It’s a creepy level of detail.
Google says that it uses location history to “create a private map of where you go with your signed-in devices even when you aren’t using a specific Google service” and that the “map is only visible to you.” The data, it says, provides “improved map searches and commute routes, as well as helping you to rediscover the places you’ve been and the routes you’ve traveled.”
I don’t really care about that information. I know the roads I drove on April 16, and I can’t see any reason why Google should store it, even if it’s only for my use. I never know who might be able to access that data, even if Google promises it’s private.
You can stop Google from storing your location history and delete what it has already stored. Here’s how.