Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek

Trending

Filed under: News

 

Google Remembers Where You Were

Dec 21 2013, 10:36am CST | by

10 Updates
Google Remembers Where You Were
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

Comments

Recommend Your Tweet as Top Tweet:

Full Story

Google Remembers Where You Were

A recent story on title="TechCrunch">TechCrunch  highlighted a little-known feature of Google's mapping services; the ability to record and display a daily history of your whereabouts. The feature is called Location History  and is available via a web browser when you’re logged into your Google account. What you get is a Google Maps display that includes a calendar to specify the date for which you want to review your travels. An hourly graph is displayed below the map so that you can mouse over a specific time to see your location at that hour. Google even provides a play button that will automatically scroll through the timeline for you.

This location data is coming from your smartphone or tablet, of course. Google’s apps have the ability to periodically track your location, regardless of whether you’re actively using any of them. Location information is typically generated from cellular network towers, so any location in which you can receive a cell signal is a candidate for location reporting.

You don’t have to be a Google power user to understand why your location is a valuable commodity to the Internet giant. Several of Google’s services, from turn-by-turn navigation to weather, traffic and news updates, not to mention localized shopping searches, require your current location. And the functionality of Google Now – the company’s virtual personal assistant – is almost entirely dependent on location data.

The fact that Google is storing this data, associating it with your account and making it accessible to you in a user-friendly format is largely in character with the search giant’s approach to collecting and using user data. Location History itself grew out of an earlier – and since discontinued – Google service named Latitude, which allowed users to explicitly share their location with friends. Whether you view Location History as an intriguing tool or a significant threat to anonymity, depends on how you view the services-for-data barter that defines much of our current Internet use.

I’d argue though, that in this instance Google offers a useful blueprint for the balance companies should be striking between services and consumer privacy. For starters, the location services that make this all possible are an opt-in feature. If you’d rather not share your location data with Google, giving up some of the benefits of its services, you can turn off this capability . Indeed, when accessing Google Maps for the first time in your mobile browser, you’re presented with the choice of allowing Google to access your location. And on my iPhone and iPad I regularly get a pop-up dialog asking for permission to use my current location when I load the Google news site without being signed in to my Google account.

Google allows you a number of options for disabling its location tracking features. Lifehacker Australia offershandy guide  to doing just that on both Android and iOS devices. You can also access settings for all of your Google apps and accounts via a personal dashboard . And on the Location History site you can choose to delete all history, the data for a specific day or location. How long your data is retained on Google’s servers after you’ve hit the delete button is an open question. In response to a request, Google refused to give a specific time-frame, noting that this varies by service, with some allowing a grace period for users to recover data in the case of accidental deletion or an account that has hacked. If you’re wondering, in light of ongoing NSA revelations, about government access to your location data, a Google spokesperson confirmed via email that, “we require a search warrant from the government to compel us to provide location history that we may have.”

Let’s make no bones about it. Google’s most lucrative business model (advertising) depends on having as much information about you as possible. To encourage the sharing of this data, the company leverages it to provide services that most of us find useful, or increasingly, necessary. But in most instances you do have a choice over how much information you’re willing to share.

Source: Forbes

 

iPad Air Giveaway. Win a free iPad Air.

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update

Update: 10

GLCs told to provide RM7 billion to develop Bumiputera firms

Source: Malaysia Today

EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM - Day One
(The Malaysian Insider) – Putrajaya has directed government-linked companies (GLC) to generate RM7 billion in business opportunities for Bumiputera firms this year, Prime Minister Prime Minis ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today 5 days ago, 2:05am CDT
 


Advertisement


Update: 9

Rafizi shows proof of Putrajaya’s hand in contentious carpet-trader loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli today revealed documents to prove Putrajaya interfered in the RM32 million Bank Rakyat loan to ‎controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan. R ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today 6 days ago, 2:16am CDT
 

More From the Web

Update: 8

PAS MP claims Bank Rakyat loaned carpet-trader RM215m, interest free

Source: Malaysia Today

(Malay Mail Online) – Controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan (pic) was given a whopping RM215 million interest-free loan from state-owned Bank Rakyat, a PAS lawmaker alleged today, despite Putrajaya’s claims otherwise.... READ ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 14 2014, 5:52am CDT
 

Update: 7

MRCB, Nusa Gapurna and PKNS settle suit over RM3 billion PJ Sentral project

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), Nusa Gapurna Development Sdn Bhd (NGD) and PKNS Holdings Sdn Bhd have reached an out-of-court settlement over the ownership of the... R ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 21 2014, 2:53am CDT
 

Update: 6

Story behind Syed Mokhtar’s ‘RM2.25 billion tax-exempt’ Bernas deal revealed, says PKR MP

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – An innocuous written reply in Parliament has provided a peek into the cosy relationship between the Najib administration and Malaysia’s best-known businessman, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar... READ MORE ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 15 2014, 12:56pm CDT
 

Update: 5

Constitutional monarchy still murky concept

Source: Malaysia Today

After the RM4.5 billion land sale, the Sultan of Johor secured a 15% stake in MOL Access Portal (MOL) for RM396 million and took a 20% stak ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 14 2014, 12:37am CDT
 

Update: 4

Sultan of Johor’s RM4.5 bil backlash?

Source: Malaysia Today

"GOLDEN ASIA" Tokyo Premiere Press Conference
Has Sultan Ibrahim of Johor’s succession of big money deals over the last six months caused the tide of public opinion to turn against Johor’s royal palace? Ki ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 8:49am CDT
 

Update: 3

Putrajaya denies carpet dealer given interest-free loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider Putrajaya today refuted allegations that Bank Rakyat had allowed carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan to repay a RM32 million loan without interest following intervention from a... READ MO ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 5:44am CDT
 

Update: 2

Malaysia Spends Over $9 million on MH370 Hunt: Report

Source: NDTV

"GOLDEN ASIA" Tokyo Premiere Press Conference
Malaysia has so far spent about RM27.6 million (over $9 million) on search operations for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an official said o ...
Source: NDTV   Full article at: NDTV Jun 9 2014, 3:12am CDT
 

Update: 1

Bill for Kidex likely to soar to RM3.4b

Source: Malaysia Today

The original RM2.4 billion tag on the proposed highway did not take into account the cost of acquiring the land mostly in the urban areas, claims an assemblywoman Fabian Comelius,... REA ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 9 2014, 2:51am CDT
 

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Apple reports $7.7 billion profit fueled by strong iPhone sales
Apple reports $7.7 billion profit fueled by strong iPhone sales
Apple's third quarter revenue is $37.4 billion - up from last year's $35.3 billion. Quarterly net profit is $7.7 billion, an increase from the previous $6.9 billion net profit.
 
 
Johnny Manziel's Jersey is NFL's Top Seller
Johnny Manziel's Jersey is NFL's Top Seller
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel's jersey is the NFL's top seller.
 
 
Baltimore Orioles Hope Ubaldo Jimenez Returns Soon
Baltimore Orioles Hope Ubaldo Jimenez Returns Soon
The Baltimore Orioles hope starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, who hasn't taken the mound since July 5 due to a sprained right ankle, can return soon.
 
 
David Ortiz Moves Up to 36th All-Time in Home Runs
David Ortiz Moves Up to 36th All-Time in Home Runs
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz homered twice in his team's 14-1 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays on July 21 to move up to 36th all-time in home runs, surpassing Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind


Read more about The Geek Mind.